Clacton Pier collapse: Structure safe ahead of Storm Dennis
- Credit: Archant
Contractors have been batlling to make Clacton Pier safe before the arrival of Storm Dennis following its partial collapse.
Emergency work had to be carried out after the deck gave way on Valentine's Day as concrete was poured ahead of the installation of a new rollercoaster.
Workers were on site within three hours and by 10.30pm that day the section had been made safe, with half of the rubble collected and moved to the shore.
As the tide went out work began about 9.30am today, with additional workers to make sure the pier was safe.
No one was injured and the damaged area has been completely fenced off.
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Director Billy Ball said every possible resource was put into the clear-up: "This was important with Storm Dennis imminent and because as a business we wanted it to take place without delay.
"Our structural engineers were very impressed with the progress that was made in such a short period of time, less than 24 hours."
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The closed area and several rides will be unavailable until February 22 at the earliest while further works continue on the pier.
Mr Ball said that the structural engineers are still assessing the damage and what may have caused it.
"At this point we believe that a combination of the effects of last week's tidal surge and the removal of Stella's Revenge from that deck may have made that small section more vulnerable," he explained.
"Then when we started the work yesterday four bays of the existing concrete slabs failed, and the collapse took place."
The area had been closed to the public and the work was being done in "controlled conditions" when nobody was under the structure.
Structural engineers are continuing to assess the situation at the pier, which opened in 1871, but sections of the Pier remains open for business as usual.
"We have had lots of customers turning up to the indoor attractions today and have been overwhelmed by their good wishes and encouragement," Mr Ball added.
"We have received messages from around the world literally, and we are very grateful to all those who have contacted us by phone, on social media and other means.
"What we do ask is that our customers continue to support us by coming to the attractions we do have open and are contained inside and are in no way affected by the collapse.
"It is obviously a difficult time and there is no estimate yet as to when we can carry out the repairs, but it will very much be business as usual in the meantime."