Storm-damaged pier closed for summer

Stormy seas battered Roker Pier on Saturday as this ship made its way out to sea.
Stormy seas battered Roker Pier on Saturday as this ship made its way out to sea.
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SUNDERLAND’S historic Roker Pier is set to remain shut until October as repair work takes place.

As reported in the Echo, the Edwardian structure, pictured, was closed after the landmark suffered storm damage from rough weather in July.

It was believed at the time that the repair work would take up to four weeks, but now it appears the pier will be shut for two months.

The work also looks set to scupper plans to unveil the pier’s new landmark gates by the autumn.

John Kelly, the senior councillor responsible for culture in Sunderland, said: “The pier isn’t going to be open for the remainder of the summer season.

“This old lady of the sea has suffered a lot from the elements over the years and she’s showing her age.

“While we plan to begin repairs to the decking this week, we’re also undertaking a detailed technical inspection of the pier’s railings and its stonework.”

The Grade-II listed pier was closed to the public on Thursday, July 21 because of heavy seas.

A series of inspections then revealed storm damage to the pier’s concrete decking, its metal handrails and that works are needed to its granite structure.

Further detailed technical surveys are also being undertaken before its new gates – designed by artist Fiona Heron – are installed.

The pier, which dates back to the 1900s, has to remain closed to the public during the repairs because it is unsafe.

The council said works are subject to prevailing weather conditions.

The pier has more than 1,600 metres of cast iron railings and inspections have revealed that 50 metres of the pier’s granite stonework has to be removed and replaced.

Coun Kelly said this work also involves removing railings and posts and could take six to eight weeks, if conditions are perfect.

He added: “I think we are all going to have to be patient while we do all we can to see Roker Pier restored and re-opened for the public.”

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