There are many unanswered questions about the planned works on Whitby’s crumbling piers and extensions. Work on Phase 1 is hoped to start in Spring 2018, Scarborough Borough Council (SBC) has announced. The contractors will be civil engineers Balfour Beatty, who will start with yet another survey of the piers. This will be needed to assess any additional storm damage since the last surveys in 2002 and 2009.
What if the final costings exceed SBC’s budget of £8.522m? Has SBC secured the £3.71m it still has to find from ‘third parties’?
A local civil engineer, now retired, has studied the documents and concludes that a new hydro-sonic survey and possibly trial pits will be needed. Maybe even a marine sediment survey. Only when the full extent of the problem has been identified, can the time and the cost of Phase 1 be calculated. Even then, the work in Phase 1 does not include any repair work on the extensions to the East and West Piers.
These extensions, however, are in even worse condition than the piers they protect, yet they will have to wait for Phase 2, which could be another 20 years after the start of Phase 1.
The really big unanswered question is: Does anyone really believe the extensions will survive to protect Whitby until the year 2038?