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Central Pier under the microscope

05 May 2017

Work starts this month to assess the failing condition of Central Pier to work out how much money will be needed to preserve it.

The project will include a structural investigation of the pier, as well as infrastructure changes to the current Super Yacht Pontoon, to service cruising boats, super yachts and ferry services.

The heritage pier is owned by the State Government and is leased to Atlantic Group until 2025.

Development Victoria’s general manager precincts, Simon Wilson, said stage one investigation works were important in determining the level of work needed to restore and retain Central Pier.

“We need to better understand the structural condition of Central Pier under the water, to assess what improvement works might be required,” he said.

“Central Pier is one of Melbourne’s most iconic pieces of water infrastructure and played a largely unheralded, yet vital, role in the early development of the city.”

“As custodians of the Docklands, we want to ensure the pier continues to play a central role in the emerging Docklands story. This project is a long-term project for Development Victoria.”

To carry out the first stage of the investigative works, Development Victoria will also relocate the Super Yacht Pontoon on Central Pier to Harbour Esplanade. This will include construction of new terminal infrastructure to accommodate a range of other water-based services.

Mr Wilson said completing the terminal was an integral part of the Harbour Esplanade Master Plan and would encourage more water-based activity in Docklands.  It would also encourage links between Docklands and the rest of Melbourne.

The initial investigation will see a physical break introduced at the western end of Central Pier by a “jack-up barge” with crane. The break will ensure people do not access this unsafe area of Central Pier.

The break will allow the contractors, Fitzgerald Constructions Australia, to peel back the concrete slab to investigate the condition of the structure from the top down. The next phase will be determining what work is required to extend the lifespan of Central Pier.

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