New deck for historic Princes Pier takes shape
Rebuilding work is ramping up on the historic Princes Pier, with construction of the new deck now underway, Major Projects Minister Tim Pallas announced today.
Mr Pallas was on site today with Member for Albert Park Martin Foley as the first concrete was poured for the new deck of the iconic pier.
“The Brumby Labor Government understands the importance of investing in local infrastructure such as the $34 million Princes Pier project, which create jobs and boost our economy as we continue to build for Victoria’s future,” Mr Pallas said.
“After months of demolition and preparation work to repair worn piles, today the rebuilding of this local icon reaches an important milestone with the concrete pour for the new deck.
“The restored pier will be a great asset for the Port Melbourne community and will ensure the historic structure will be enjoyed by the public for generations to come. Work is on track for the pier to be reopened to the public in 2011, in time for its centenary in 2012.”
Mr Pallas said as part of the Princes Pier project, a new deck would be constructed for the first 196 metres of the pier and the gatehouse restored, with piles at the seaward end to be retained as a heritage and sculptural centrepiece.
“Since demolition finished, we have been hard at work preparing the piles to take the new deck. Teams of divers have been repairing worn out piles with a specialised epoxy while above water concrete caps have been installed to bring the piles to a level height,” he said.
“The new deck is being constructed on top of the repaired piles and once it extends far enough to allow construction access, the restoration of the 1935 gatehouse will begin and finally the repaired gates will be put back in place.”
Mr Foley called on community members to get involved in shaping the Princes Pier’s future and contribute to local planning consultation.
“I encourage everyone to play a part in the consultation for the City of Port Phillip’s Port Melbourne Urban Design Framework that will plan out how we can best utilise the wonderful opportunity the restored pier presents,” Mr Foley said.
“A respectful recognition of the industrial, maritime, military and multicultural contribution the pier has made to Port Melbourne and the wider Victorian community might well be an outcome of that process. It is important to get that included in the early design stages of the pier.
“Princes Pier is a vital part of Australia’s maritime history and its restoration has been a painstaking process. With the new deck now being built we have an exciting opportunity for a new urban space and part of our local history to be integrated into the wider community.”
Princes Pier was decommissioned in the 1990s after a series of fires made the deck unsafe. The Victorian Government committed $14 million in 2006 to demolish its southern end and repair defective piles. Last year a further $20 million was allocated to restore the deck and gatehouse.