Colchester Borough Council has appointed contractors Breheny to complete the repairs to the damaged section of the piling where it has started to come away from the bank next to the Hythe to Rowhedge footpath.
The council has applied to the Marine Management Organisation (MMO) for permission to survey the riverbed, to enable repair plans to be finalised.
Cllr Simon Crow, Colchester Borough Council Portfolio Holder for Environment and Sustainability, said: “I’m pleased that we have a contractor appointed and are taking the next steps for the riverbed surveys to be done, so that repair work can get underway in the autumn.
“Engineers continue to visit the site weekly, to monitor the damage to the river wall, and detailed monitoring will continue. There has been a small amount of movement in the damaged section of piling over the last few weeks, which is down to the recent high tides removing silt from the void behind the damaged sheet pile wall. This is to be expected and we continue to monitor the situation closely.
“We have looked at all options for a safe diversion that people can use around this part of the riverside. Sadly, there is no viable diversion that people can use around this area of footpath because it is in an industrial area. We know it is frustrating for those who use the route, but while the path remains closed, we urge people, for their own safety, not to attempt to access the closed section of footpath. The footpath will remain closed until the repair work has been completed and the path is safe for use again.”
The council is working with the contractors to confirm a start date for the repair work. Due to the complex nature of these works and the various statutory permissions needed, the contractors are unlikely to start re-piling on site until autumn.
As the River Colne is internationally important for wildlife, the council is in consultation with several statutory organisations. An environmental consultant is involved in the planning of these works to minimise the impact to the surrounding biodiversity.
The great partnership work with Anglian Water continues and the council would like to reassure residents that there is no concern about the water outlet pipe at that point in the river. Anglian Water engineers have been working closely with the council on this planned repair from the start and will remain involved whilst repair works are undertaken.
Council officers are also working closely with CTruk Marine Services, whose business is on the land next to the section of affected riverbank, to ensure site safety with the day-to-day running of their operations.
The council will continue to explore options for long-term regeneration, environmental and public realm improvements to the quayside, working with residents, businesses and other interested groups.
Page last reviewed: 12 July 2021