Published: 12:21, 09 October 2019
| Updated: 12:21, 09 October 2019
Work is underway to dismantle and remove a historic street pier on the River Thames.
The old West Street Pier in Gravesend was once a passenger terminal for ferries from Kent to Tilbury, Essex.
Its seafaring duties were handed over to the renovated town pier in 2012 and it has been in a state of poor repair since.
The structure, which is the only surviving part of the old Gravesend West railway station, was hit hard by winter storms last year.
Navigators for the Thames, the Port of London Authority (PLA), recently assumed ownership of the old pier and begun work to remove the structure.
This included the floating pontoon and the ‘brow’ (the bridge) which connects the pontoon to land.
Staff from the PLA and specialist marine contractors began to disconnect the structure from the shore in late September.
Work to remove the main sections of the pontoon and brow resumed this Monday with work expected to conclude this Friday (11 October).
Lee Walker, from the PLA civil engineering team admitted there will be some noise disruption but was keen to re-assure residents every effort was being made to minimise this.
He said “The old pontoon and brow have certainly seen better days. The structure is beyond repair and no longer safe.
"Also, as the floating structure is very corroded the local residents have recently had to endure very loud ‘banging’ noises at certain states of the tide and weather.
"There will of course be some noise and disturbance during the current removal activity – but we have been working hard with our contractors to minimise this.”
Cllr Brian Sangha (Lab), Gravesham council’s cabinet member for strategic environment, was pleased swift action was being taken.
“It is good news that the PLA has taken ownership of, and responsibility for, West Street Pier," he said.
"We recognise the current structure is beyond repair and are pleased swift action is being taken to clear the site before it becomes a danger to river traffic.”
More by this authorSean Delaney