Southend Pier is well known as the longest pleasure pier in the world, dating back to 1829. Now reaching out a mile and a third into the Tidal Thames, the on-going maintenance this iconic structure requires is complicated, not only by its scale, but also its operation of a live railway. Indeed, earlier this year, the pier was adapted to enable new, eco-friendly electric trains which were officially named by HRH The Prince of Wales and The Duchess of Cornwall (now HRH King Charles III and HRH Queen Camilla).
Back in 2021, we were pleased to be appointed Southend-on-Sea City Council’s representative engineers for the structure, seeking to ensure its long-term upkeep by advising and then designing the necessary remedial works.
This started with a week-long condition assessment of the entire structure, and has since evolved into a series of on-going repair works which encompass the three principal materials of civil engineering – steel, concrete and timber. We have also used our expertise in marine licensing to help secure its statutory long-term future.
Works on site are currently on-going for the first of the remedial works packages, with the replacement of structural members along the 1.6km Main Stem. In order to allow the continued operation of the pier, the Principal Contractor (UK Industrial Services) have introduced a unique gantry system. This allows the pier decking to be raised locally, with joists slid out and replaced as required.