FCC advise section of Skerries Harbour to close from today

Closed owing to significant corrosion and safety issues

by Rose Barrett
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Avid walkers, visitors and residents in the Skerries area are reminided by Fingal County Council that a section of the pier at Skerries Harbour is closed from today, Friday, March 24.

The council closed the section after a survey found significant corrosion and large voids in the sheet piles that form the berthing face on the quay wall of the outer harbour, following a report by Malachy Walsh & Partners (MWP), a consultant with extensive Marine Structural experience.

FCC is finalising the appointment of a Consultant Engineering team to design a new structure to ensure the long-term future of the pier.

MWP were engaged by FCC after an Underwater Thickness Survey of the steel sheet piles on the newest section of the Skerries Harbour was carried out by Norfolk Marine Engineering in December 2021. The sheet piles form the quay wall of the Outer Harbour in Skerries, which was constructed in 1968.

The Norfolk Marine survey found significant corrosion and large voids on some piles, causing core fill material to fall out. Their report designated the structure as being in a Critical Condition because there was “advanced deterioration and significant defects noted to the structural element with the functionality and/or load carrying capacity of the element considered to be significantly reduced with local failures possible.”

After reviewing the Norfolk Marine Report, FCC then commissioned MWP to advise on how best to manage the degraded structure.

The MWR Report stated: “It is concluded that given the condition of the pier and the large uncertainties with regard to the analysis undertaken for this report, and in the absence of monitoring and controls as detailed under restricted access above which may be considered impractical, it is recommended that the sheet piled section of the pier be closed.”

When formally appointed, the Consultant Engineers will engage with the key stakeholders in the development of an optimal solution of the pier. The affected section will remain closed until the remedial work has been completed as the scale and complexity of this work is considerable.

Contractors will move in today to move containers, currently located on the affected section of the pier, to new locations which have been agreed with the owners. A 10m opening has been provided along the pier for unloading of catch and a fence will be erected to secure the closed off area.

FCC regrets the inconvenience caused to harbour users and boat owners by the decision to close this section of the pier.

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