Victoria Park barrier work on schedule

WORK at Arbroath’s Victoria Park to replace the sea wall barriers which had succumbed to ‘concrete cancer’ is progressing and the contractor is on schedule to finish the project prior to Sea Fest.

The sea wall had initially been installed by Arbroath Town Council in the 1930s as part of its programme of improvements which also saw the construction of Arbroath Outdoor Bathing Pool.

However, the ravages of time had taken their toll and over 70 years the salt laden atmosphere had played havoc with the reinforcing steelwork within the concrete which had rusted badly. Some of the barriers had split as the steel deteriorated and it was determined that remedial work was necessary on a safety basis.

Angus Council determined that about 520 metres of barriers required to be replaced and the contract was won by Delson Contracts Ltd., Forfar. The tender cost of the installation was £68,241.40.

The council procured the purchase of the precast concrete units direct and the cost of these was £61,619.12.

Commenting on the work, Depute Provost Councillor Alex King said: “Work is now well under way replacing the concrete parapets on the sea wall at Victoria Park with the contractor making steady progress meeting the need for high standard of construction and a high quality of finish on the works.

“The refurbishment of the sea walls at Arbroath was first proposed as part of 2006/07 budget with a report in January, 2006, detailing the cost as seen at that time and adding the necessary works to the Capital Plan for the first time.

“Now, some six years later, this essential project has, despite delays while other legacy projects in other areas of Angus were given priority, at long last, reached the top of the council’s priority list and has begun the final construction stage.”

He continued: “The original concrete parapets and sea wall were erected in the early 1930s as part of an Arbroath Town Council initiative to help relieve the burden of mass unemployment, which faced many of the town’s workers at that time.

“Now, almost 80 years later, some of the original horizontal parapet bars are showing signs of the serious deterioration commonly known as ‘concrete cancer’ with the steel reinforcing rusting away from inside the bars, causing serious weakening of the concrete and eventual collapse of the structure.

“Knowledge of the chemistry of reinforced concrete construction has moved forward by leaps and bounds since the 1930s and it is to be hoped that the replacement parapets will still remain sound for centuries into the future.”

The chairman of the Royal Burgh of Arbroath Community Council, Mike Cosans, was complimentary of the work which has been completed when the newspaper spoke to him this week.

He stated: “I have made a point of visiting Victoria Park on a number of occasions while the work has been under way just to see what progress has been made.

“The contractors have done a good job with the minimum of disruption over the weeks the contract has been in force. They are getting on very well considering the weather that we have had in the recent past.”

Mr Cosans concluded: “I believe the new areas will fit in perfectly well with the original design although it will take some time for them to weather to the same patina.”