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22 February 05
North Pier Nearing Completion

30 December 04
North Pier Work Still Progressing

Storm Finally Hits Home 15 October 2004

North Pier Work 12 October 2004

North Pier Work 29 September 2004

North Pier Work 19 July 2004

North Pier Work 12 July 2004

1 July 04
North Pier Wick Harbour - £3 million Repair Work Well Underway

27 February 04
Big Crane Arrives For North Pier
Protection Work At Wick Harbour
Another large crane has arrive at Wick Harbour ready to begin work on the £2.9 million works to protect and repair the North Pier.  the contract awarded to Currie Brothers of Orkney will take up to 36 weeks to complete.  Fabrication of large sections will be undertaken in Orkney and sent over to be lifted into place by the crane.  6500 tonnes of rock will be delivered over the next few months to be dropped into place to add further stability and protection to the pier which has been showing signs of collapse in recent years.  

25 February 04
A major project to reduce the risk of flooding and damage to Wick Harbour and lower Wick is under way at a cost of £2.9 million.

Councillors & Officials See Area
Before Work Begins

The Highland Council has awarded a contract to Orkney-based Currie Brothers to reinforce the North River Pier and protect the harbour and river from easterly gales combined with high tides, which create damaging waves within the harbour and river and can undermine the seawalls and properties adjacent to the harbour.

Thurso consultants, Arch Henderson, have designed and are supervising the 28-week contract, which should be completed by the autumn.

The contractors have begun work offsite on the construction of precast concrete panels and work on site will be evident in the near future.

Work has already been completed on strengthening the South River Pier at a similar cost.  Funding, via a coastal protection grant of £1.8 million, has been attracted from the Scottish Executive in recognition of the importance to the town of the coastal protection work at the North River Pier. The Council is meeting the balance of the costs.

Damage caused by the waves within the inner section of the harbour is evident at Scalesburn Road and at the Camps Car Park, where four car parking spaces are out of commission. he estimated cost of the protection of the harbour wall on Scalesburn Road is £150,000. The Council is working in partnership with local businessman, Mr John Sutherland, who has plans to build a hotel and car park in this area, which would require construction of a new wall further out into the harbour.

A contract for £20,000 has been awarded to local contractor, A.W. Sutherland for repairs to Camps Car Park.  Councillor Charlie King, Chairman of The Highland Council’s Transport, Environmental and Community Services, visited the harbour area on Monday after meeting with members of the Council’s Caithness Area Committee.

He said: “The North and South Wick Harbour River Piers form an essential part of the coastal protection of both the harbour and lower Wick town and robust defences against the easterly gales are very important if we are to prevent extensive flooding and damage.

“The Scottish Executive provided grant aid for the South Pier and is now assisting with the North Pier and this work, costing a total of more than £5 million, should go a long way to securing the safety of the harbour area and the town itself.

“We are also well advanced on proposed improvements at Scalesburn Road and the Camps Car Park.”  The Highland Council’s Caithness Area Convener, Councillor David Flear said: “I am delighted that such a major investment is being made in Wick to protect the harbour and the lower town from the damaging waves that result from the easterly gales.”

27 November 03
Funding from the Scottish Executive to better protect Wick from coastal flooding has been welcomed by The Highland Council today.

The River Piers in Wick play an important role in protecting the lower lying parts of the town from coastal flooding. The improvements will enable the Council to strengthen the North Pier which has suffered from erosion and storm damage in recent years. The total cost of the protection works will be £3.1 million and the balance will met from Council funds.

Convener of The Highland Council’s Caithness Area Committee, Councillor David Flear said: "I am glad that we are getting this money and look forward to further funding for the

South Pier. I welcome the commitment from the Scottish Executive and hope that the Wick Harbour Trust will look positively on this grant and look forward to working with the Scottish Executive and The Highland Council to bring forward this modernisation programme."

Local Highland Councillor Graeme Smith said: "I welcome this commitment to spend by the Scottish Executive and hopefully this will sort out the North River Pier for many years to come. We still have an important job to do with the South River Pier but this is less of an immediate issue."

Final Repair Work 14 February 03

Calm Day - Damage Continues 9 February 2003

North Pier Repair Holding 17 December 2002

13 Dec 02
Scottish Executive To Help With Damage Costs
A delegation from Wick Harbour Trust met with Fisheries Minister Ross Finnie and relieved to be given a lifeline of support in getting an agreement to assistance with repairs caused by the recent bad weather that has repeatedly hit Wick Harbour in recent weeks.
Damage has been caused all round the harbour not least to various parts of piers and walls.  But not seen is the movement of tetrapods that protect parts of the outer walls on one side of the harbour.  Some of the tetrapods have been moved away from their protective positions leaving the walls more vulnerable to the heavy seas recently seen.
Problems with ongoing financial concerns will have to be the subject of separate negotiations and even legislation as Trusts such as wick Harbour Trust are getting into difficulties as they see their income decline in the face of not being a designated landing port under EU rules.

Holes Getting Bigger 9 December 2002
No official word yet on possible action.



No Let Up To Damage To Sea Walls 7 December 2002
Day by day the sea is eating away along the whole length of the harbour walls from the Camps Car Park out to the Old Dry Dock


Another Hole In The Wall - Camps Car Park 5 December 2002
The corner of the Camps Car Park has developed a serious hole in the wall.  Part of the car park is now cordoned off in case of collapse.  The sea is now undermining the car park in the latest breach in the harbour walls.

4 December 2002
Damage continues


Old Dry Dock Sustains Major Damage 24 November 2002
The corner of the Old Dry dock at Wick harbour is collapsing under the constant pounding of the last two weeks.  A large section has collapsed and the corner is ready to give way.

North Pier - Working From Dawn To Dusk 9 November 2002
Work went on all day on Saturday 9 November 2002 to fill the hole in the north pier with aggregate.  The repairs are temporary and it is hoped that this will hold things until next spring when bigger works may start.  200 tonnes of aggregate were being put into place prior to concrete being put on top next week.  The hole in the pier low down below the water is still there and might possibly lead to further damage but this was the best option in the time available.  Highland Council agreed to fund the repairs as the Wick Harbour Trust does not have the funds to do the work.

Highland Council Makes Temporary Repairs 8 November 2002
Highland Council agreed to make investigations into the damage sustained at the pier at Wick Harbour and to put in place some temporary remedial workCouncil workmen and engineers were on site and expected to have to work over the weekend to complete.  Major works are required to safeguard the pier for the future but it will not be possible to start this until at least next spring as winter weather will make it too difficult.

North Pier, Damaged In Weekend Storm 5 November 2002
The north pier at Wick sustained major damage with a large hole appearing in the top having been punched from underneath by the huge tidal surges and storm that affected the whole harbour area.
The large hole in the surface concrete is clear to see but what is not known is how the storm has affected the rest of the concrete along the length of the pier and what if any damage has been sustained by the main wall.
Some work was carried out on the pier in a first stage that was to have continued last year.  The second stage of remedial work was not carried out and the worst fears of some folk may now begin to be realised over the coming winter with many more storms yet to come.  Last winter may not have been as bad as might have been expected and saved the pier from the damage that some have been predicting and which seems now to be underway.
The entrance to the outer harbour is also suspect as the end of the piers are apparently undermined and require work to prevent collapse.   Time may be running out as more damage can happen at any storm if it takes the same direction as the one that occurred at the weekend.  
Businesses in the harbour area took no chances and put up the sandbags just in case there was a repeat of the storm.  Luckily things have calmed down and there was no heavy weather.  The road at the Shore has been completely cleared and reopened.   Material that was often moved back at the edge of shore street has this time been removed to prevent it being thrown up onto the road again.
The main concern of people with low lying properties is when there will be another big storm and will the pier stay in place.   People whose grandparents have long memories remember that the wick river used to flood far up river when the sea was pushed in by storms.  Even as far up as the Safeways supermarket was in the past flooded. 
Te surges of water coming into Wick Bay are held back by the pier.   From time to time it is possible to see the waves running up the Wick river but they generally lose their force before they reach the main bridge at Bridge Street.   The question on everyone's lips is - "Is that about to change in one catastrophic episode at another storm?"   Certainly there were many folk out at 1.00am the other night watching the storm at its height wondering if this was the night.  There was damage to the pier and walls along Shore street but fortunately not the worst scenario of total collapse. 

Other Damage and Clearing Up Pictures