27 July 2010
Stabilisation works to preserve the north and south piers of St Aubin Harbour and the breakwater at St Aubin’s Fort will start in August.
Ongoing damage has gradually destabilised the piers and the breakwater and without stabilisation they may be in danger of collapse, as happened in 1973 on a section of the breakwater. Since 2001, consulting engineers Arup Rothwell have been monitoring the breakwater and the 2 pier arms in St Aubin Harbour for Jersey Harbours. Having analysed wave patterns and forces in the area, and carried out tests, engineers have come up with a solution known as the Cintec System which is commonly used to stabilise ancient structures.
The work is expected to take 45 weeks to complete and will cost £1.2 million. An information leaflet is being produced to outline the work being carried out which will be available from St Brelade's Parish Hall.
Scaffolding will need to be erected and a drill rig put in place so that holes can be drilled in the masonry to insert piles which will ‘stitch’ the structures together and anchor them into the bedrock of the seabed. Work will first start on the breakwater before moving to the harbour’s north pier, sections of which will be closed to the public during the works. Once completed, the rig will move to the south pier to finish the project.
Jersey Harbours' Technical Services Manager, Ray Hine, said "The stabilisation works will ensure that St Aubin Harbour and the Fort remain safe for future generations to enjoy. Once the works are complete careful dredging will be undertaken to achieve the optimum depth of water in the harbour."
St Aubin was the main port of the Island’s commercial trade from the 17th to the early 19th century. The piers, which are proposed Sites of Special Interest, date from the 1760s with additions completed up to 1819 . Work first started on the breakwater at St Aubin’s Fort in the 1680s.
The architectural heritage consultant for the scheme, Antony Gibb, said "St Aubin Harbour and the Fort are 2 of our finest historic monuments yet it is still very much a working harbour at the heart of a thriving community. Therefore, it is important to minimise any disruption and to keep the public informed at all stages of the project."
The parish of St Brelade, St Aubin’s Boat Owners Association, traders, residents and heritage organisations have been consulted throughout the planning process. The Société Jersiaise’s Marine Biology Section was involved in the project’s environmental assessment, alerting Jersey Harbours to the presence of 2 endangered species of molluscs that live in the north pier. The selected method of construction was chosen to minimise the impact on the molluscs and to respect their habitats.