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Work set to start today on fixing Weymouth's dilapidated ferry berth
WORK will restart today on fixing Weymouth’s dilapidated ferry berth following the Christmas break.
It comes as Weymouth and Portland Borough Council is set to approve spending millions more on the general upkeep of the crumbling harbour walls.
Extensive repair work worth almost £4million started last month to replace a section of the 80-year-old berth where ferries dock.
Condor Ferries, which switched cross-Channel sailings to Poole last February, says it will return this summer as long as the berth is ready. The company’s vessels continue to be seen in the resort, however, as they undergo maintenance. Repairs are expected to last 24 weeks but such a project in the depths of winter could be held up.
It has already been delayed by almost a fortnight due to problems securing steel sheet piles.
Contractor Balfour Beatty Civil Engineering is preparing to bring in a piling rig which will install the foundations to the harbour wall by driving in steel sheet and tubular piles.
Council environment spokesman Gill Taylor said piling, demolition and concrete breaking would result in noise disruption across town.
She said: “I understand steel sheeting will be arriving by boat from abroad in the next few weeks and will be craned out of the harbour. People should be aware that the pile driving will result in a lot of noise but this work has to be done and it will be worth it for the end result.
“We’ve got to get this sorted out.”
The working hours agreed between the council and the contractor are Monday to Saturday, 8am to 6pm.
The council is also looking into redeveloping the ferry terminal in the long-term and has commissioned surveys to assess the condition of the harbour walls generally and the Pleasure Pier.
Replacing all of the walls around Weymouth Harbour would cost up to £45million according to a report but a compromise has been reached to spend a fraction of this to keep them safe in the future.
Surveys were undertaken by consultants to assess the walls to assist the council in compiling a repair and replacement programme.
The suggested compromise, which would extend the life of the walls over the next 15 years, would involve spending £3.6m over 10 years plus setting aside £20,000 per year for the Pleasure Pier which is also in desperate need of repair.
The management committee will be asked to back these measures at a meeting next Tuesday and also include more than £1million for further repairs to the harbour walls as part of the coming year’s budget setting proposals.