Work starts today (Nov 3rd) on an upgrade programme to replace all of the floating walkways within Sutton Lock and also to install a brand new bearing mechanism to the pedestrian swing bridge.
Sutton Harbour Holdings plc is funding a widespread package of improvements within the harbour as part of a planned investment in Plymouth’s prime waterfront district.
Totnes-based firm Docking Solutions won the contract to upgrade the walkways, and started preparatory work today ahead of the new floating walkways being installed over the next 10 days.
Each of the 39-metre long walkways affixed to six steel column guides are being replaced to improve facilities for the 570-plus boat owners who berth within Sutton Harbour including both fishing and leisure craft. The floating walkways, which rise and fall as the lock is filled and emptied with water, are being replaced one at a time to minimise disruption for users, and co-ordinate with tidal times.
The swing bridge crossing the lock which links the Barbican area of the Harbour with the National Marine Aquarium will close temporarily from Monday, November 10th for an estimated one week period to enable a newly manufactured bearing system to be installed.
These works are necessary to upgrade facilities at Sutton Harbour for the future, with the new walkways designed to be capable of withstanding an increasing number of vessels over the next 20 years.
Charlotte Malcolm, commercial marketing manager for Sutton Harbour Holdings plc, said: “We are delighted work has begun today on this major upgrade of facilities in the harbour, which will see a complete replacement of the floating lock walkways for both commercial fishing and marina users, and a permanent upgrade solution for the lock bridge which is used daily by many pedestrians.
“A temporary solution was installed in order to keep the pedestrian swing bridge working efficiently through the summer months while a brand new bearing assembly was manufactured, and this is now ready so it will be fitted next week.”
The improvements are part of a planned wider programme of investment by Sutton Harbour Holdings plc in the popular waterfront destination, which has also seen a £1.2million investment in Plymouth Fisheries, England’s second largest fresh fish market.
Sutton Harbour Holdings plc published its Vision for the area of Sutton harbour in July, setting out opportunities for developing a number of sites around the harbour which could see 350,000 sq ft of mixed use accommodation created, nearly 1400 new jobs and an annual boost to the city’s economy of nearly £50m.