Sunderland's Roker Pier set to close for restoration work

Roker Pier is to close this weekend for the summer to allow work to go ahead on resurfacing the structure for the first time in its 111- year history

Roker Pier
Roker Pier

A pier is to close for the summer this weekend to allow work to go ahead on resurfacing the structure for the first time in its 111-year history.

The listed Roker Pier in Sunderland will close from Sunday evening.

Below-water repairs will also be carried out to the pier’s foundations, and the walls of the structure repointed where this is needed.

The work is part of a £1.35m rolling programme of restoration for the pier announced by Sunderland City Council last February.

Although the surface of the pier has been repeatedly patched up over the years, a century and more of storms and high seas have taken their toll, resulting in regular closures to allow for repairs.

Hundreds of metres of railings have been lost into the sea over the years. Last autumn a huge chunk of the concrete surface was torn up by crashing waves and in December 30ft high waves forced the closure of the pier for several days.

The resurfacing will go ahead over the summer, when weather conditions are most favourable.

This will allow the pier to be closed for a shorter time than if work was carried out over winter. The pier is due to reopen by the end of the year.

 

Sunderland City Council cabinet secretary Mel Speding said: “Roker Pier is one of our best loved landmarks. But there are only so many times you can carry out repairs and we’ve now got to the stage where we need to replace the entire surface to protect the pier for future generations to enjoy.

“Undoubtedly people who regularly use the pier will be disappointed about the disruption but hopefully carrying out the work now will mean there’s less need to close it for temporary repairs in the future.

“We’ve already made a good start with the restoration of the lantern house at the top of the lighthouse last autumn and if we’re successful in our bid for Heritage Lottery Funding we hope the next stage will be to restore the lighthouse and pier tunnel and open them for public tours.”

The contract is being carried out by Southbay Civil Engineering Ltd.

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