Princes Pier breaks into new ground in historic revamp
Major Projects Minister Theo Theophanous took a chip off the old block today, helping smash the old concrete deck of Melbourne’s iconic Princes Pier with a jackhammer, as part of the first stage of demolition works on the $14 million pier restoration.
“Princes Pier is an important part of Victoria’s heritage and this is the first stage of an exciting project to restore a Melbourne icon and return it to public use,” Mr Theophanous said.
“This historic rebuild of the pier has already seen contractors Fitzgerald Constructions stabilise part of the existing structure to take the weight of a crane enabling the concrete deck and railway lines to be removed.
“Once the concrete deck has been removed we will have a firmer understanding of what timber can be saved and what must be replaced.
“Soon a special barge for a second crane will arrive at the site. The barge has legs that can be lowered to the seafloor to allow it to be jacked up out of the water.
“This will provide a mobile and stable platform to operate the crane free from the limitations of the tides.
“Looking underneath the pier at the pylons clearly shows the need for this restoration – with 90 years of wear and tear from the sea and evidence of fires being lit by vandals all adding to the deterioration of the pier.
“Designs for the new deck are being developed to create a fantastic new public open space for Melburnians to enjoy and remedial work will also be carried out on the old gatehouse pending restoration at a later stage.
“Princes Pier is one of Melbourne’s most important waterfront locations and the Government has been working hard to bring the pier back to the community.
“Built in 1916, the pier has great historical significance as a point of arrival and departure for many migrants and soldiers over the years, as well as being a beloved fishing spot for Port Melbourne locals.
“This project means the pier will survive long into the future and will help Victoria retain an important aspect of its rich history.”
The refurbishment will see the first 196 metres of the Pier fully restored. Beyond that the decking will be removed, with the original piles being preserved as a heritage and sculptural centrepiece.
The end result will be a huge multipurpose waterfront venue able to be used for a variety of community events and it will be a great addition to the adjacent Beacon Cove beach created last year.