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£1.5million scheme begins to rebuild collapsed quayside at Pann's Bank in Sunderland

A £1.5million project to rebuild a stretch of collapsed riverside in the heat of Sunderland is under way.

By Kevin Clark
Friday, 5th November 2021, 3:44 pm

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A 60m (nearly 200ft) section of quayside at Pann’s Bank is being rebuilt and strengthened with more than 340 tonnes of steel.

Altogether, 133 steel piles, each weighing 2.6 tonnes and 18 metres (almost 60ft) long are being driven into the bed of the Wear for the new stretch of Panns Quay East.

They will replace corroded piling that had been in place since the early ‘70s and slipped into the River Wear in March.

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Preliminary and salvage works to clear debris and prepare for the new piling were completed through spring and summer and work on the rebuild will continue into the New Year.City Council Cabinet Member for Dynamic City Coun Kevin Johnston said the authority had been aware of problems before the collapse: "Council engineers and contractors had begun looking at options for this section of the quayside after we had received reports or cracking and splits in the footpath,” he said.

"These studies into what was causing the faults were underway when it fell into the river back in March.

"We’ve since had salvage crews, including divers in the river, clearing the debris and preparing the riverbed for the new steel piling and a new section of quayside."All of our city’s infrastructure is hugely important, whether it’s bridges, highways, or the quayside.READ MORE: Don’t forget to sign up for our newsletter

"In coming weeks, as works are completed, we’ll have this section of the quayside back open so residents and visitors can enjoy it again."The piling and reconstruction are being completed by County Durham company Arm-Pipetek.Operations Director, Steve Burke said the work had presented a number of challenges: "Getting the job to site has presented a number of challenges due to the complexity and location of the works,” he said."The works have now commenced and we are currently on programme. Deliveries of the 18 metre long sheet piles have been co-ordinated with the busy student population with no issues. Weather permitting, along with no unforeseen problems, we are all aiming to see the project being delivered on time and within budget."

Specialist equipment is being used to drive 100ft piles into the river bed

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Coun Kevin Johnston inspects progress
The fence line shows the extent of the collapse
The quayside was fenced off
A view of the collapse from the other side of the Wear