Jenkins Marine are currently repairing the pier at Swanage where some of the timber piles and associated structures needed replacing to allow continued use of the South landing stage for local passenger vessels. However, Jenkins Marine has also had to undertake some emergency work following strong Easterly winds and rough seas on 11 March which damaged the mid-section so badly it was near collapse.
The pier originally opened to traffic on March 29th 1897 having cost £10,000. The first steamer, the P.S. Lord Elgin landed people on May 1st 1896. The 642ft (195m) pier was fully restored after falling into disrepair in the 1960s.
After the £1m restoration, it reopened in 1998 and now attracts more than 100,000 visitors a year and last year won the “Pier of the Year” award (2012). This follows the successful works by Jenkins Marine to repair the North landing stage in 2010 for the use of the Waverley steam liner.
This time round Jenkins Marine’s Spud leg barge JML35 (35mx10m) is on site with a 50 ton crawler crane to carry out the piling operations using 14m long 14” x 14” greenheart timber piles; and Buffalo (Multicat), a Beaver workboat and the powerful tug Handfast have all been assisting with the precision manoeuvring of JML35 required for the work.
The current works started on Thursday 14th March and should be completed in early April 2013 – weather allowing!