Felixstowe: New prom is open at last

AFTER more than a year’s work, Felixstowe’s new �10 million sea defence scheme is finally open – with a new stretch of prom for people to enjoy.

The new 350-metre promenade – essentially a five-metre wide track to enable vehicles and other machines to reach the defences when future repairs are necessary – goes from Cobbold’s Point to Jacob’s ladder and is already proving a popular attraction.

It means there is just a short gap, of just over 120 metres, now to be bridged to create a five-mile walkway along the coast from Felixstowe Ferry to Landguard, though with the cliffs at the missing link privately owned, no new building is expected soon.

The final phase of the sea defences around the Point were completed around three weeks behind schedule, unlike the first phase from the War Memorial to Undercliff Road East which opened up weeks early at the start of the year.

The scheme is designed to protect 1,500 homes and businesses and seafront attractions for the next 100 years.

Contractors VolkerStevin have built 18 rock groynes, each 40 to 50 metres long, 50 metres apart, from 50,000 tonnes of granite from the Larvik Quarry in Norway, shipped in by sea-going barges.

In addition, 78,000 cubic metres of mainly sand and some shingle was also sprayed and pumped ashore to bolster the beaches and give them a good start.

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The old Victorian wall around Cobbold’s Point was replaced with the walkway made from 150 pre-cast 16-tonne blocks, with protective sheet piling hammered in to a depth of 11.5 metres, and then in front a mountain of rock – another 23,000 tonnes – to keep the sea at bay.