Fix pier before it needs more expensive repairs

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SHARK Rock Pier (also called Hobie Pier) is arguably Port Elizabeth’s premier beach attraction. Since it was built 23 years ago it seems to have received little, if any maintenance.

It is now in a sorry state of disrepair: rusting steel and rust- stained concrete, broken light fittings and unpainted, rotting and cracked handrails. It is a public disgrace.

But it is not only its appearance that is of concern. It is in danger of becoming an engineering disaster.

Some of the steel handrail stanchions and their holding-down bolts are now rusting and corroding. The bolts were once protected with epoxy capping, as is normal practice, but that protective capping long ago needed to be repaired in the course of normal maintenance procedure. In some instances the protective capping has totally disintegrated.

If the corrosion is allowed to continue it will be almost impossible to repair.

The cost of repair now is as nothing compared to what it will cost in a year or so’s time. And repair now does not mean giving the rusted parts a “lick of paint”.

This matter was brought to the attention of the municipality more than a year ago and so far no action has been taken. It seems that the only way to get some action is to invite the mayor and the public to “go see for themselves”.

This is not the way the municipality should be preserving one of its prime assets. It is a disgrace.

Mike Watson, Port Elizabeth

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