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Whitby Piers Work To Finish Early

Whitby Piers Work To Finish Early

Published by Local Democracy Reporter Carl Gavaghan at 3:54pm 24th October 2019.

A £9 million project to safeguard the long-term future of Whitby’s crumbling piers is set to be completed ahead of schedule.

The work, which started in 2018 by Balfour Beatty on behalf of Scarborough Council, was due to finish in February next year.

It has now been confirmed that the repairs will finish “in the next one or two weeks” and that the construction base in one of the town’s car park has now been returned to the borough council.

Chris Bourne, Scarborough Council’s project manager, told a meeting of the authority’s Audit Committee today that the project had also come in under budget.

He said:

“It looks like the contingency has not been touched at all on this project, so a successful financial outcome.”

He added that the replacement East Pier Footbridge has been fabricated and painted and is being stored in Scotland ready to make its journey to the town to be lifted in place once the council can secure a marine crane.

Mr Bourne said:

“Hopefully it will be going in very, very soon.

We need a marine-based crane and the crane we have identified is currently in dry dock undergoing maintenance but as soon as it comes out we will be securing it to put the East Pier Bridge back in place.”

The previous footbridge closed in 2001 and the new £300,000 replacement was only secured when Whitby Town Council agreed to contribute £6,000 a year for 20 years from its income from toilets in the town to make up a shortfall in the cost.

The footbridge allowed harbour staff easy access to maintain the navigation beacon at the end of the eastern extension.

Since it was removed staff have had to use a boat and ladders to access it.

The new footbridge is 26m (85ft) in length, with a wooden walkway and steel frame.

The funding for the piers project has come from the Environment Agency, which has given more than £4 million, as well as the European Structural Investment Fund, the Local Enterprise Partnership, North Yorkshire County Council and Scarborough Borough Council.

If the Grade II listed-piers were ever to fail, hundreds of homes and businesses could be flooded, causing millions of pounds of damage.

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