Brighton Shelter Hall update June 2017
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Brighton Shelter Hall update June 2017


A milestone has been reached in Brighton
and Hove City Council’s ambitious plans… …to preserve the city’s historic seafront
and to prevent the coast road here from… …eventually collapsing. Engineers working
on the prom have now finished a… …massively complex operation to reinforce
the ground and the buildings here. That clears the way for the next phase of the
scheme and a key purpose of the… …operation – to start actually rebuilding
the Victorian Shelter Hall. The aim is to… …create modern business premises which
can earn money for future upkeep. There’ll also be new public toilets. But
it’s been no easy task and more… …complex than could have been envisaged.
It’ll be a familiar tale to anyone who’s… …ever started work on an old building and
found things beneath the surface… …worse than they’d hoped. Here, both the
ground and the former fisherman’s arches.. …were much more unstable than anticipated. At one stage a sinkhole opened up in the
chalk requiring six cement mixers full… …of concrete to fill. The whole operation
has meant a complex and far-reaching… …engineering solution to reinforce and
stabilize the ground and the arches. Before that could even start a
substantial and elaborate system of… …propping was installed to keep
everything in place. Only once everything… …was held firm could contractors start
installing permanent strengthening. Key to this was a huge concrete wall sunk
into the ground to stop the hidden… …chalk cliffs beneath the road collapsing
towards the sea. The scale is quite hard.. …to grasp. The wall was made by sinking a
row of 24 concrete piles close together. Each one is nearly a metre thick and
goes almost 20 metres into the ground. That’s as deep as three of these steel
reinforcing cages end-to-end. This is what the site would look like
with the Shelter Hall removed. And how the piling supports the upper prom. This image shows the complexity of the
piling operation for the whole project… …with the concrete piles looking like a
mass of underground legs supporting the building. I think when it’s finished
it’ll be massively worthwhile. We’ll have a… …much-iimproved shelter structure that be
far more efficient than the previous Shelter Hall. It would be able to
accommodate businesses. It would be quite an… …important asset to the city and for the
seafront. It will generate income that’ll… …be able to support its future upkeep and
maintenance which i think is really important. We’ll also have completed the
reinforcement to the footway and… …the carriageway. So we’ll have done our job in
terms of being a highway authority and… …maintaining the highway. So the highway and
the structure will be there for the next… …120 years. All good!

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