DISGRUNTLED Mornington Pier users say they are fed up with the lack of progress on repairing the tourist icon.
But Parks Victoria has defended the delays, saying weather conditions aren’t safe enough to carry out the work until summer.
The pier’s wave panels were damaged by storms in July and October last year following a $15.6 million upgrade in 2015. The storm damage required 40 panels to be replaced around the pier and Parks Victoria engaged a contractor to remove five of the panels in late March.
At the time, Parks Victoria determined the next suitable window for further repairs was from December this year until April 2018.
Parks Victoria Director Marine and Maritime Jo Richards confirmed works would not start until “summer 2017-18”.
Waves crash over Mornington pier in July during severe storms.
“The new wave panels can’t be installed before then as underwater divers and on-pier construction is unsafe at Mornington during winter,” she said.
Ms Richards said Parks Victoria was “finalising the new, strengthened wave screen design with expert marine engineering input” and designs would be put out to contractors for quoting.
Leader understands Parks Victoria will again use concrete panels but with strengthened infrastructure supporting the panels around the pier.
Mornington Yacht Club’s Rob Austin said the repairs process was going way too slowly.
“It’s a real concern, it’s our playground and most of the boat owners have lost confidence storing their boats in the harbour,” he said. “We just want it fixed and we hope it has been given priority.”
Meanwhile, a deteriorating timber jetty next to the pier known as Scallop Wharf, has been fenced off.
Bay Fish N Trips owner Stuart Maconachie said he had been forced to move his fishing charters mooring away from Scallop Wharf and further down the pier.
Parts of Mornington Pier are still fenced off.
“It’s making our job a bit harder, we’re putting up with conditions that are less than ideal,” he said.
Parks Victoria regional director for Melbourne marine and maritime Jo Richards said contractors would be engaged to replace the Scallop Wharf decking and 19 piles supporting it.
She said the repairs were expected to be completed by the end of winter, subject to favourable weather and contractor availability.
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