Pier building challenge for the Port of London Authority

13 Dec 2016
Blackfriars Pier is slowly built

Blackfriars Pier is slowly built

How do you build a pier in one of the busiest waterways in the world? That was the challenge facing the Port of London Authority and Tideway, the company behind the Thames Tideway Tunnel.

The new Blackfriars pier was built so Londoners were able to continue using river transport and access the embankment while work to construct the tunnel went on nearby.

Work to the pier took several months to complete with the first step in construction that of reinforcing the river wall to the east of Blackfriars Bridge, the site of the new pier.

Six metal supports, weighing more than 40 tonnes each, were transported by sea from Italy and pushed up to 23m into the riverbed to create an anchor for the new pontoon.

The 84m-long pier was then towed by sea from Holland and installed in its new home before opening to the public.

“This was a huge task with many challenges, including co-ordinating the arrival of materials from Holland and Italy by sea, building in the river alongside changing tides and working safely around the weather,” explained Andy Alder, delivery manager for Tideway. “The opening of the new pier on schedule is a testament to the dedication and hard work of the team and the many stakeholders we have worked with.”

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