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Battle to repair groynes

PUBLISHED: 12:05 09 March 2002 | UPDATED: 11:30 03 March 2010

DILAPIDATED groynes protecting beaches in front of a multi-million pound redevelopment site are being repaired to keep the sea at bay.

Work costing £20,000 is being carried out to repair two of the worst damaged breakwaters alongside Felixstowe's south seafront site, which is earmarked for a major tourist attraction and housing.

DILAPIDATED groynes protecting beaches in front of a multi-million pound redevelopment site are being repaired to keep the sea at bay.

Work costing £20,000 is being carried out to repair two of the worst damaged breakwaters alongside Felixstowe's south seafront site, which is earmarked for a major tourist attraction and housing.

Contractors Brooks and Wood are doing the work at low tide, working as quickly as possible while the weather and conditions are favourable.

One of the most striking sights in recent days has been the arc of a huge boom over the beach from the prom to the water's edge to pump concrete from a mixer to the site of the repair work.

A spokesman for Suffolk Coastal council said each groyne was costing £10,000 to repair and the work was part of routine maintenance.

The council set aside a budget each year for such work to ensure it keeps on top of the deterioration caused by the sea and to deal with any unexpected damage caused by the waves.

The work has involved using bulldozers to clear away sand and shingle to allow the whole groyne to be seen – though most have been exposed fully by falling beach levels – and then build steel cages around them, which are filled with concrete. When the material sets, the shutters are taken off.

A council spokesman said: "The work has been dependent on the tides and the weather as these are not ideal conditions to work in, but it has been going very well and everyone is very pleased.

"A study is taking place into Felixstowe's coastline and the best way to protect it but we still need to do some maintenance work while that is being done.

"We are waiting for the results of the study but those will take some time to come through and long-term works are some way off at this stage."

The south beach has suffered from erosion but like many of Felixstowe's beaches, the levels fluctuate. The worst part of the southern shore though is at manor End where rocks have been used to protect the end of the prom.

The council has also spent £140,000 this winter on emergency work to bolster beaches on the East Beach and stop the prom collapsing.

Hundreds of tonnes of rock have been placed on the shore in Undercliff Road East, just yards from where £3 million was spent just over a year ago to protect Cobbold's Point and Brackenbury.

WEBLINK: www.suffolkcoastal.gov.uk


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