Friday, April 21st, 2017
While the heavy machinery and activity connected to the dredging and level raising has caught our attention, the works to repair and renovate the viaduct have been progressing. This area of work focusses on preserving the structure and connecting the former railway station and viaduct to the town.
It will create new access to the Harbour Arm by using the viaduct that carried trains across the harbour as a pedestrian walkway. The aim is to provide a direct route between the town and the Harbour Arm, via the former railway station platforms, and will ultimately link with a boardwalk along the beachfront towards the Leas Coastal Park. This will improve connectivity around the harbour itself and help enhance access between the Coastal Park, the Stade and beach areas, the Creative Quarter and other parts of the town centre, anticipating the wider opportunities that the seafront development will bring.
During the coming months the area will be landscaped and new railings will be added. A staircase and lift will be constructed to provide access between the viaduct and Harbour Square, adjacent to the fountains. Care is being taken to respect the listed status of the structure and to preserve and enhance its heritage value, whilst introducing a function that is relevant to the area’s future.
The work is an important step towards the transformation of one of Folkestone’s most iconic sites, which will help redefine the relationship between the town and the sea. To date this has included the opening of Rocksalt, a signature restaurant overlooking the inner harbour, the creation of interactive fountains in a new public square and the Harbour Arm itself.