gravesend pier transport small

New pontoon and brow design

The Grade II listed Town Pier was built in 1834 and is the world's oldest surviving cast iron pier. Our team designed the new pontoon and brow.

This stretch of the Thames experiences an extremely large tidal range of between five and seven metres and the original design allowed for all tide access via steps down to the river, while two small pavilions on the T-head provided the only shelter from the elements.

Gravesham Borough Council commissioned a pontoon and brown to make access a lot safer and more convenient, conceived over a 10 year period until funding could be put in place.  Opus, together with Dean and Dyball and Tema, was awarded the design & build contract for the works.

The large tidal ranges meant it was essential to ensure the slope of the 48m brow was not excessive at low water and to achieve this a section of fixed ramp was constructed on the pontoon. The 130-tonne pontoon was lifted into the water and towed upstream to Gravesend where it was connected to the piles placed on the seaward end of the pier. New mooring facilities with power hook-ups and fresh water were also added.

The jetty separates the new structure visually and physically from the historic pier, and the new finishes are deliberately muted to the Town Pier stays the central focus.