ROKER Pier closes this Sunday June 22 to allow work to go ahead on resurfacing it for the first time in its 111 year history.
This latest phase of plans to restore one of Sunderland’s best loved and iconic landmarks for future generations will see the entire length of the pier resurfaced.
Below water repairs will also be carried out to the pier’s foundations, and the walls of the structure repointed where this is needed.
The work is part of a £1.35m rolling programme of restoration for the Grade II listed pier announced by Sunderland City Council last February.
Although the surface of the pier has been repeatedly patched up over the years, a century and more of storms and high seas have taken their toll resulting in regular closures to allow for repairs.
Hundreds of metres of railings have been lost into the sea over the years. Just last autumn a huge chunk of the concrete surface was torn up by crashing waves and in December 30ft high waves forced the closure of the pier for several days.
The pier will close on Sunday evening allow resurfacing to go ahead over the summer, when weather conditions are most favourable. This will allow the pier to be closed for a shorter time than if work was carried out over winter. The pier is due to reopen by the end of the year.
Cabinet Secretary, Councillor Mel Speding, said: “Roker Pier is one of our best-loved landmarks. But there are only so many times you can carry out repairs and we’ve now got to the stage where we need to replace the entire surface to protect the pier for future generations to enjoy.
“Undoubtedly people who regularly use the pier will be disappointed about the disruption but hopefully carrying out the work now will mean there’s less need to close it for temporary repairs in the future.
“We’ve already made a good start with the restoration of the lantern house at the top of the lighthouse last Autumn and if we’re successful in our bid for Heritage Lottery Funding we hope the next stage will be to restore the lighthouse and pier tunnel and open them for public tours.”
The contract is being carried out by Southbay Civil Engineering Ltd.