Home' Phillip Island and San Remo Advertiser : November 16, 2016 Contents PAGE 4 - THE ADVERTISER, WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 16, 2016
Scott and Sharon Anderson
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176-178 Graham Street, Wonthaggi, 3995
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15 Warley Avenue, Cowes, 3922 (by appointment only)
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Cowes pier safety
again in the spotlight
Before and after: This is the same horizontal concrete beam, the first photo was taken in March, and the second in November which
clearly shows a large chunk has fallen away.
THE safety of the Cowes pier has again been
questioned by a concerned beachgoer, who be-
lieves that photos he has taken show a decline
to the underbelly of the structure in just an
Local resident Ben Miles, with his wife and
daughter, regularly walk along Cowes fore-
shore under the jetty and in March this year
Ben’s photos were published in the Advertiser,
revealing damaging cracks and rust.
However Ben has continued to take photos
of the same cracked and rusted horizontal and
vertical beams, with his latest photos of the
same areas showing damage has increased.
“There’s one horizontal concrete beam that
runs the width of the jetty, right at the begin-
ning, that shows how the damage has magni-
fied,” Ben said.
“In March there was a section that had a
crack running through it and appeared damp.
“Now that section has entirely fallen away. It
would be about 5 to 10 per cent of the beam.
“You can’t help but walk underneath and
think is that safe, are we ok to walk on it or
under it? I’d hate to see it fall on someone.”
He said another photo showed a one metre
long crack running down a vertical beam had
grown and was now about 1cm in width.
The 42-year- old, who runs Island Comput-
ers, said what was also concerning was the
number of concrete chunks strewn across the
beach, to the west of the pier.
He said the concrete – which includes pillars
with rusted wire hanging off, braces and tile-
sized chunks – have appeared recently on the
beach and it was uncertain where they origi-
“The problem is, where has this concrete
come from? I’m not sure it’s the jetty but if
not it’s from a short distance away as concrete
does not drift or float, so it has to be close.”
As local residents have witnessed, winter
storms have been particularly severe this year.
“I t seems like every time there’s a storm bits
come off it and more of the beach disappears,”
“I ’m not a structural engineer and I don’t
know whether it’s a problem or not, but the
problems looked pretty deep.
“There may not be a problem because the
concrete is steel reinforced, but it’s still not
great having concrete chunks coming off, even
for people walking underneath. ”
Parks Victoria is the port manager for Port
Phillip and Western Port and district manager
Graeme Davis reiterated statements made ear-
lier this year that the cracks on the jetty were
“consistent with a pier of this age”.
“While the cracks do not look very good from
an aesthetic point of view, the pier is structur-
ally sound,” Mr Davis said in March, and un-
derscored again this week to the Advertiser.
“Typically, a concrete pier structure has an
estimated lifespan of more than 50 years, de-
pending on the design and environmental con-
ditions of the location.
“The current Cowes jetty structure was origi-
nally built in the late ‘70s and still has at least
10 years of practical service.”
Mr Davis said maintenance works were
planned for 2017 as part of Parks Victoria’s
regular pier and jetty maintenance program.
He said Parks regularly assessed the condi-
tion of maritime structures both visually and
with technical inspections, using professional
engineers and divers, adding that further tech-
nical inspections would be carried out prior
to the scheduled maintenance works to “deter-
mine the extent of the works required and how
long they are likely to take”.
“It is likely the works scheduled in 2017 will
include concrete patch repairs and some repairs
to the crossheads and piles,” Mr Davis said.
“The condition of the jetty as it ages will
determine when a jetty renewal project is re-
quired. It is possible with good maintenance
to extend the practical service life of the jetty
well beyond the currently estimated 10-plus
He said the results of the technical inspec-
tions were used to calculate safe load ratings
for vehicle, vessel and pedestrian access. Re-
sults also guide decisions around manage-
ment of the jetty and the need for future fund-
ing bids to replace the structure at the end of
its practical life.
He said Parks Victoria would continue to
monitor the condition of Cowes jetty to ensure
it was safe and serviceable for pedestrian and
vehicle loading and commercial vessel berth-
A large crack is growing in this vertical
Cowes resident Ben Miles wonders whether
concrete strewn across the beach west of the
jetty comes from the structure itself.
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