AFTER A DELAY due to an appeal against the award, Franki Africa (KZN), third placed at tender, were appointed by eThekwini Municipality in October 2013 to carry out the reconstruction of the Durban Bay of Plenty Pier. The existing pier is a reinforced concrete deck supported on precast concrete piles which retain a rock groyne beneath the pier. Due to scour and failure of the precast piles, approximately 70m of the seaward end of the pier has failed and is to be demolished and reconstructed.
Due to the Christmas holidays, commencement of the works was delayed until January 2014. The main scope of works includes demolition of 75m of the existing deck and piling, installation of 22 no. 900mm diameter x 20m permanently cased piles, construction of a 75m x 10m wide new deck and the installation of 300 no. 4-ton geotextile scour protection bags within and around the seaward end of the pier. In order to safely demolish the old pier and construct the new one, it is necessary to construct a 110m temporary jetty adjacent to the existing structure as a working platform.
Following procurement of new jetty sections, construction of the temporary jetty began in March 2014 and was completed in June this year.
Reconstruction will start at the seaward end of the pier with the existing structure being cut into manageable pieces and removed to dump. The existing precast piles will be braced and incorporated into a new capping beam below the new structure. The new deck, which will be approximately 4m wider than the existing deck, will be constructed in 11 sections. Custom shuttering will be supported on the new and existing piles. As with all marine works, the risks associated with rough sea conditions are ever present and the fixing and maintaining of the deck shuttering will be challenging. For this reason glass fibre coated polystyrene blocks will be used for soffits to enable quick placing and removal.
Currently Franki’s Siva Govindasamy, a veteran Durban pier builder, and James Van Wyk are supervising the works.
We will need the weather to be on our side to ensure that the contract completion date of 15th December 2014 is met.