On Saturday 26 November a routine maintenance inspection on the tanker jetty identified two areas of significant concern and it was determined urgent remedial work was required. Both areas identified had dangerously loose sections and were considered high risk with respect to becoming detached, causing further damage to the jetty and potentially becoming a marine hazard. Should these sections have been left unattended and broken away from the jetty structure the danger to those using our waterways could be catastrophic. All floating debris of this nature must be removed from the water as soon as possible, regardless of its origin. Southern Ports Authority and/or the Shire of Esperance should be contacted immediately if debris is seen floating in the water.
The two areas were:
Pile group 114 – the two outer raked piles and centre vertical pile had broken loose from the half caps and was washing about in the swell, however still connected to the newer replacement pile on the south side by one bolt. This was creating additional stress on the structure with continual movement and was removed.
Pile group 54 – a pile on the north side of pile group had broken away below the waterline and had dropped from the half cap by about 200mm. The pile was being kept in place by the diagonal steel cross bracing only, and was applying undue loading to the south pile without contributing any structural benefit to the north end of the half caps.
CEO Matthew Scott said “The Heritage Council was contacted on Sunday and informed of the remedial works. Officers involved are aware of the stop work order in place over the Jetty preventing demolition of the structure and in no way wish to contravene this order. The order does allow for maintenance, and actions were taken to minimize the risk to marine and public safety. No other parts of the jetty were disturbed while the work was performed, however please understand we have, and will, continue to monitor the structural integrity of the jetty. It is not in anyone’s interest for sections of the jetty to break away.”
“The damaged areas had potential to cause more harm to the structure if they remained in place. The Shire is in a catch 22 situation at the moment, damned if we do and damned if we don’t. Regardless of what people may think our priority will always be the safety of the public, actions are not taken lightly as we are aware of the jetty’s importance to members of community. Notwithstanding individual opinions on the jetty the Shire has a responsibility to continue monitoring the jetty, assess risks and provide a safe environment whenever possible.”
The sections of the jetty that were removed are available for viewing on the lawn in front of the Shire Administration building adjacent to the Public Carpark.
Pile 54 failed and was removed due to applying undue loading. This did not contribute any structural benefit.
Pile 94 had failed and had been splinted previously to prevent further damage.
Pile 114 that was underwater, was pulling on the structure. The sawn section was an old pile that was not a structural component.
Pile group 114 when still in place. Significant section underwater and creating additional stress to the structure.
Pile 66 has failed and dropped approx 400mm taking the outer corbel with it. This pile will not be removed due to potential collapse.