MAINTENANCE will start on one of the damaged panels of Thirroul’s ‘great wall’ this weekend.
The project will see the removal and replacement of an exterior wall panel around the popular saltwater pool in time for its planned reopening for swimming this Saturday.
The panel, on the eastern side next to the showers and lifeguard facilities, was secured last season with a reinforcing beam and structural plywood as a precaution after cracks appeared in the brick panel’s render. It’s believed the cracks are the result of movement of sand under the concourse, which has reduced its structural integrity.
Wollongong Lord Mayor Gordon Bradbery said the wall is believed to have been built over 40 years ago and is a significant part of the look and feel, and the social fabric of the Thirroul Beach precinct.
“As part of the work, there will be a like-for-like replacement with what is currently here and this will preserve the historic value of this location,” he said.
Council’s heritage team have reviewed the plans, and the project is expected to take about six weeks to complete. The project includes the demolition of a section of the brick wall and concourse, the installation of piles and new footings for the brick wall section and the replacement of the concourse and brick wall.
The repairs are the latest phase of work in the Thirroul precinct, which are all due to be finished by the busy summer months. The other projects underway or completed include repairs and maintenance to the pools, including the replacement of 150 broken pool tiles, repairs to the expansion joints, the re-grouting of the main pool and the application of a non-slip coating for the toddler’s pool ramp.
In addition the Council recently re-lined the pools’ outlet pipes under the concourse within the pool precinct, and work continues on the replacement of the pools’ aged intake pipe at the southern end of Thirroul Beach. The intake pipes on the beach date back to World War II.
“The pipes on the southern end of the beach run some 70m out to sea and are used to draw in the fresh saltwater for the pool. The ones that were there last summer were more than 75 years old and well due for an upgrade,’’ Cr Bradbery said.
“While work will continue in this precinct for the rest of spring, we’re working hard to reopen the pool on Saturday. This week the last segment of the intake lines will be installed and testing of the pumping equipment will begin.
“We know Thirroul is a much loved beach by locals and a popular daytripping location for people from across the Illawarra and further afield. These upgrades will ensure the precinct is in tip-top working order for the summer months.’’
The work on the panel and the promenade will be carried out between 7am and 6pm, Monday to Saturday. The pool is scheduled to reopen on Saturday October 19, and will remain open while the work on the promenade, wall and intake lines is completed.