Restoration of pier to get under way.
REPAIR work on Sunderland's Roker Pier is finally set to get going after bad weather delayed its restoration.
The pier has been closed to the public since the beginning of November after it was damaged by gale-force winds and battered by high waves.
Severe weather led to more than 100m of safety railing being washed into the sea, along with coping stones that had been cemented into the pier itself.
Further bad weather led to the repair work being delayed, but the council is now gearing up to fix the site over the summer.
Les Clark, the council's chief operating officer, said: "November's storm damage was a real setback to our plans for opening the pier for tours. We were due to launch the first tour of the lighthouse the very day we discovered the railings had been washed into the sea.
"Then, when the weather improved sufficiently to get structural engineers on to the pier, we found that more railings than initially thought had been washed away by the sea, and the other remaining sections had suffered damage too.
"We'd always planned to replace the modern railings this summer as part of our wider restoration of the pier, but the extra work we've had to put in to prepare the technical specifications and procure a contractor following the tidal surge damage has delayed the start date.
"We're quite limited in when we can do work on the pier because of the need to be sure of a stretch of decent weather, so the summer months are an ideal time to get the repairs carried out."
Divers equipped with lifting gear managed to recover more than 35 of the granite coping stones, each weighing 2.2 tonnes, from the sea so they can be reused.