New pictures show Felixstowe pier project progress as building takes shape
- Credit: Gregg Brown
The much-anticipated new pierhead at Felixstowe is beginning to take shape – quite literally.
Part of the steel super-structure has been hoisted and fixed into place and already people visiting the resort’s seafront can get a feel for how the new building will look.
Contractors and owners are delighted with the progress being made on the building, understood to be costing around £3million, and it is on schedule to be completed on August 9.
So far the team – equipped with a 250-ton crane – has demolished the old amusements centre and cleared away the structure, hammered into the beach 66 piles, built the precast platform on which the new building will stand and is now putting up its frame.
Moving into the latest phase has meant all the noise and vibration caused by the piling is now over.
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Julian Brandon, construction manager for the pierhead project, said the scheme had now completed several milestones and work was progressing well.
Although “quite scary” it had also survived two storm surges, and neither construction difficulties or weather had hindered progress.
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Mr Brandon said: “Our whole strategy on the project has been to avoid too much tidal work and a lot of thought and effort was put into how we could create our working platforms so we can work all day long.”
The new building will include cafe/bar with al fresco dining, bowling, modern food outlets, and a family entertainments centre.
It will be larger than the old one and include a boardwalk for promenading around the building over the beach and sea. The part of the pier sticking out over the sea will also remain – though because it is unsafe, people will not be able to walk its length.
Mr Brandon said all the steel from the old pierhead building had been recycled, along with 98% of the bricks and concrete, which was crushed on site for the ramp across the prom for the machinery.
One surprise during the early part of the construction last autumn was the discovery of the enormous oak piles of a jetty which stood on the site before the pier was built in 1905.
He said: “They were in an amazing condition. We went through some old photographs and plotted where we felt the timber jetty would be and then plotted them on the ground and, hey presto, there it was.”