Piling 80ft into Portsmouth Harbour mud for new transport hub

Horse-drawn cabs awaiting customers on The Hard in the 19th century

Horse-drawn cabs awaiting customers on The Hard in the 19th century

A layer of thick white fungus and green slime were the culprits behind the broken floor

THIS WEEK IN 1971: Southsea man escaped falling bathroom floor

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The Hard is hugely important to Portsmouth as a transport interchange. It is a site where bus, train and boat services come together and for many people it is the first thing they see when arriving in the city.

Work began last autumn to make the interchange more efficient and attractive and improve the surrounding road layout. It is expected to take a year to complete.

Some of the 450 concrete piles driven into the harbour for The Hard Interchange

Some of the 450 concrete piles driven into the harbour for The Hard Interchange

The project could cost about £7m.

The work going on there prompted Alan Crockford to send me the brochure he was given when he attended the opening of the interchange on May 18, 1979.

All today’s pictures come from that booklet which explains that the one-acre site was largely built on reclaimed mudflats.

More than 450 pre-cast concrete piles were driven into the clay beds in the harbour to a depth of between 50ft and 80ft so the new transport hub could be built.

Decking beams in place

Decking beams in place

The new Hard Interchange taking shape

The new Hard Interchange taking shape

Nearly completed, the bus lanes at The Hard Interchange in 1979

Nearly completed, the bus lanes at The Hard Interchange in 1979

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