Repair work to Coverack’s sea wall will take at least two months to complete – leading to fears it could have a knock on effect to tourist trade.
It means the closure of the road past the seafront until at least the start of April and there is no guarantee that work will be completed before Easter, on April 20 – traditionally the start of the summer tourist season in Cornwall.
In an email to the area’s Cornwall Councillor Walter Sanger, Cormac Solutions, which is carrying out the work, said: “We are concerned with the stability of the remaining section of wall between the collapse and the stepped access. “There is undercutting here and new cracks which have open up near the top of the wall.
“We are continuing to monitor this area and are proposing to take this section of wall down and reconstruct it in a similar manner.”
Added complications come from the services that run under the road, included telephone lines, a water main and two sewers, although there is no plan to disturb these while work is carried out.
“Works will take in excess of two months to complete and the road will remain closed for the majority of the works,” added the representative.
Cormac is in the process of building a temporary ramp from the road down onto the beach, to provide access for plant and machinery.
Natural England has given permission for this to take place in the site of special scientific interest, due to the “urgent nature” of the repairs, provided the ramp is removed once the work has been completed.
Workers will then “soil nail” the eroded face of the wall use a long-reach machine, to prevent anyone from having to work directly underneath the collapse section, before spraying it with concrete.
Once the erosion is stabilised it should then be possible to cast a mass concrete wall, ready for facing with masonry.
The closure at the North Corner end of the road, which has been in place since February 5 when waves created a huge hole at the base of the wall and cracks began forming in the road, has already had an effect on the village.
Many shops and restaurants fear that people will think they too are shut, when in fact they have continued to remain open throughout the storms.
Caroline Beadle, from the village, said: “Businesses past the road closed sign are open as usual – in fact they are going that extra mile to stay open, arranging to meet deliveries at the top of the hill or collecting their products themselves. Please support them if you can.”
Visitors can park as normal in either of the car parks at the North Corner end of the village, and then walk past the seafront.
The harbour end can be accessed via diversions from Zoar Garage, along the small back roads.