It’s understood that the work to replace some of what the Vale Council describes as “trusses” (actually joists or beams) which support the planking of Penarth Pier will take several weeks – probably months.
It’s now established that the work is being carried out by the Vale of Glamorgan Council’s own direct labour force .
The problems with the joists originally came to light when some of the planks began to lift up out of alignment – pushed up by rot which had begun in the joists below .
About 40 faulty beams have been discovered so far in a painstaking process which involves drilling into the timber of each beam to extract core samples which will show whether or not the beam is rotten.
The top-planking is now to be progressively stripped-off in stages – with each plank being individually numbered so that it can be screwed back in its original place once the affected beam – or beams – beneath have been removed and replaced.
Once the planks have been removed, the beams are exposed – a number of which appear to be rotten and several of which have already been identified as requiring replacement.
The gaps are being covered over with sheets of plywood to enable workmen replace the joists from above – without having to venture under the pier.
The current planking on the pier is of Japanese iroko hardwood and locals say it was originally installed between four and six years ago. The beams beneath are said to be softwood.
Some observers say the Vale of Glamorgan Council should have replaced all the beams when the planks – on which they rest, were replaced – but that wasn’t done.