Repair work starts on two sea defences

An artist's impression of how the concrete barrier will look once in place.
An artist's impression of how the concrete barrier will look once in place.

New sea defences are being installed to strengthen a section of crumbling cliffs.

The soft clay cliff at Trinity Road, which provides access to St Mary’s Island, are being gradually eroded by the sea as the existing concrete sea wall now only provides partial protection.

A £210,000 project, funded by North Tyneside Council and the Environment Agency, will begin to stop the erosion, which could threaten the stability of Trinity Road.

A series of interlocking concrete blocks will create a barrier 50m long and 6m high.

Work began on Monday and will last five weeks.

There will be no public access via Watts Slope during the project.

Coun John Harrison, cabinet member responsible for environment, said: “We’re delighted to see this important sea defence scheme is going ahead.

“It will ensure that a vital part of our coastline is protected from the effects of the sea for years to come.”

Elsewhere, work has begun to protect the sea wall at the southern promenade in Whitley Bay, which was damaged by the tidal surge on December 4 and 5 last year.

A large section of the sea wall collapsed into the water and promenade railings were swept away.

A grant of £360,000 from the Environment Agency’s Recovery Programme will help fund the repair works.

The work, which is due to last around two months, involves replacing the concrete blocks with insitu concrete, reinstating the promenade behind and erecting new railings.

Access to the southern promenade area is restricted during working day hours for the duration of the scheme. Some footpath closures are also taking place on the promenade for short periods.

Once the sea wall is repaired, work can be carried out to bring the Southern Promenade back into full use.

Coun Harrison said: “Last December’s storm surge was a very unusual environmental event, and although we were prepared for its impact we could not prevent the damage it caused to our sea defences

“It’s great news that repairs are now underway to restore this section of the sea wall.

“This particularly challenging project involves one of the most aggressive sections of coastline in North Tyneside and because of that, progress of work will be dictated by weather conditions and the state of the tide.”