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VIDEO: Repairs begin on Torquay sea wall damage

By HE_Hedge  |  Posted: April 03, 2013

  • Picture by Ken McKeating

  • Torbay Council map showing traffic diversions

  • waves_

Comments (12)

WORK was continuing today to repair damage caused by heavy seas to the sea wall at Livermead.

The main Torquay sea front road is likely to be closed for a week.

Click for more of Ken McKeating's pictures

The damage happened at around 10am on Easter Monday, and a four-metre stretch of the sea wall between the entrance to the Livermead House Hotel and the Cockington junction was affected.

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A deep hole opened up and waves crashing in on the strong easterly wind broke up through the gap in the wall and pavement.

Video by Caroline Abbott showing the seafront on Tuesday afternoon

The Torquay Webcam sited at the Livermead Cliff Hotel provided a view of the scene, with the flashing yellow lights of the trucks bringing repair materials visible.

Lorryloads of chippings were being tipped into the breach in a bid to repair the damage, but the sea was taking them away as fast as they could be put in.

Torbay Mayor Gordon Oliver explains the situation

During Monday evening the work continued in a bid to make progress before the night's high tide at 11pm.

There were fears that a main sewer pipe running close to the breach could be in danger.

There were around 20 people working on the site on Monday evening.

Torbay Mayor Gordon Oliver and the council's deputy leader Robert Excell were at the scene to help co-ordinate the response.

Mr Oliver said the damage had come as a result of a sustained period of strong easterly winds and heavy seas.

Traffic diversions were set up and bus services took the long route up and over the ring road to avoid the scene.

Contractors worked overnight to keep the temporary defences refilled, and they installed further stone filled bags during the early hours of Tuesday morning to protect the area for the next high tide.

Council engineers are working with the contractor to agree the method of a permanent repair with the hope that this works can commence on Tuesday afternoon at the next low tide.

Torbay Council is working with colleagues in South West Water as some utility apparatus has been exposed. The Environment Agency has also been informed.

It is expected that the road will remain closed this week whilst repairs are carried out.

Mr Oliver added: "As soon as I heard of the problem I visited the site of the breach, and was there last night and revisited the affected sea wall at 10.30pm.

"I was also down there early this morning. I am conscious of the disruption this has caused, and I am pleased that efforts are being made by all agencies involved to solve the problem as soon as possible."

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12 comments

  • Olivia23  |  April 10 2013, 5:38AM

    I've heard that ENGINEERS were predicted to work through the evening to fix harm brought on by large ocean to the sea walls at Livermead and they should deliver these expectations and make the end result count. VinylBulkheads.com

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  • oddman  |  April 03 2013, 9:18PM

    This is a concern a genuine letter to Mr Saunders Dear Adrian, As you are probably aware, a large section of the sea wall in Torbay Road, Livermead, collapsed during Easter Monday leading to a road closure. Unfortunately this has also had a serious impact on our sewerage network serving Torquay. The rising mains under the wall which take sewage to the Ilsham Valley and Cockington Pumping Stations and onward to treatment at Brokenbury Waste Water Treatment Works have been exposed and seriously undermined by incoming sea water. In turn, this has meant diverting approximately 21,000 cubic metres of sewage flow per day away from the affected area and utilising the emergency overflow at Hope's Nose since Monday evening to protect local homes and businesses from being flooded internally. We are using tankers to transport flows onwards from Cockington but to move the flow completely on road vehicles would involve an extra 800 lorry movements per day in the local area therefore we will have to continue using the overflow until repairs are completed. We are working closely with Torbay Council and the Environment Agency to make the repairs as soon as possible but we will not be able to reuse our sewer until the road is stabilised and the void filled. In the meantime, Livermead Beach is closed and we will be issuing 'red' warnings to the public advising them not to go into the bathing waters at Beacon Cove, Torre Abbey and Hollicombe due to possible pollution from the sewage coming from the overflow. 'Amber' warnings stating there is an increased risk of pollution will be issued for Shoalstone (Brixham), Broadsands, Goodrington, Paignton Sands, Preston Sands, Meadfoot, Anstey's, Babbacombe, Oddicombe, Watcombe and Maidencombe. Alongside the Environment Agency and Torbay Council, we will be taking regular water quality samples at each bathing water and have teams on standby to clear up any debris. The sewerage network serving Brixham and Paignton has not been affected and Brokenbury is working normally. I will endeavour to update you on the situation when there has been further progress. Chris

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  • Nippie  |  April 03 2013, 6:14PM

    Apparently the sewers are now exposed and there are red or amber warning on all the Torbay beaches. Good job it is too cold to go swimmimg!

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  • Ned_Fl4nders  |  April 02 2013, 5:08PM

    You have got to be kidding me!? This road has had traffic lights on it and nothing going on for weeks now, then the pavement collapses and the road gets closed?! I use the road not the pavement in my car so why cant i drive along it, move the traffic over to the other side of the road with a simple traffic light system and alls good, the drivers that want to avoid can go other ways if needs be. Yet another TBC complete blunder.

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  • Dave Musgrove Blinds  |  April 02 2013, 3:10PM

    There were temporary traffic lights etc set up here some 6 weeks ago to tackle the problem before it got, well like yesterday. WHY was this work not carried out then. Instead we had weeks of national and local radio telling us of works at Livermead and non existant diversions, when in fact nothing started and eventually all the equipment was taken away. Meanwhile we have tiny blemishes in the pathways being repaired up in Livermead today???

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  • Baby_boomer  |  April 02 2013, 12:05PM

    Notwithstanding the latest incident, there are always two much overlooked consequences when the road is closed here - 1. Double-decker 'buses cannot go through the registered diversionary route and are now forced to go via the ring-road - severely delaying hundreds of passengers. A few minutes delay in a car does nobody any real harm, yet half an hour extra on the 'bus really is an inconvenience. Of course, when the local authority used to make the decision about the seafront route being closed, double-decker 'buses were still allowed through - keeping to the non-seaside lane. In recent years since the plod have become responsible for the decision, such a common sense approach has been abandoned - but then this is the Devon & Cornwall Constabulary which we are talking about. 2. It's all well and good the police closing the road when there is rough weather or, as in this case another hazard, but after putting up the barriers they scuttle away and leave motorists to fend for themselves. The least they should do is physically man the diversions which they implement and perhaps consider emergency one-way restrictions on Old Mill Road, Hennapyn Road, etc. to keep the traffic flowing in both directions. The current "just get on with it" approach produces utter chaos.

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  • nicold  |  April 02 2013, 11:39AM

    So they say the main road is closed for a week....it would have been more useful to have mentioned about the alternate route drivers have to take, rather than showing us a hard to hear video of the mayor, just before his trek to Antarctica!

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  • sammyhames  |  April 02 2013, 11:07AM

    Still makes me laugh to read the negative comments from locals who moan about TBC. Seems everyone moans about them but Torbay masses voted them in. Go figure that.

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  • goalfar  |  April 02 2013, 9:27AM

    well, surprise, surprise ! TBC reacted after the event as per usual . There was holes in the sea wall, on the Livermead Beach for years, but nothing was done . Round of applause

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  • annam1978  |  April 01 2013, 10:25PM

    Othursty1 this is not an April fool! It has actually happened and hopefully the men working to secure it will be safe in the high tides!

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