Over 100 huge concrete piles have now been sunk into Brighton beach to prepare the ground for the new Shelter Hall.
It marks the finish of another crucial stage in the council project to regenerate the seafront, creating a new centrepiece for the prom.
In total 135 piles almost a metre thick have been sunk up to 20 metres into the ground.
During the task, contractors shipped in 750 cubic metres of concrete in hundreds of cement lorries – enough to fill Brighton’s Prince Regent swimming pool three times over.
The next phase will involve a similar quantity, to create a solid slab half a metre thick, on which to build the new Shelter Hall. Work to prepare the ground is expected to last until around next February.
A lorry compound on the upper prom and second diversion to the cycle lane are expected to be in place until June 2018.
Access to the beach and all businesses on the lower prom remains the same. A temporary pedestrian crossing in front of the Brighton Centre will also stay.
Once groundworks are complete, a reinforced concrete frame will be created. External finishes will mean the new building looking similar to the Victorian structure it replaces.
The new building will house a large destination restaurant, a rotunda café, a retail unit and public toilets. It is expected to be fully open in Spring 2019. Revenues will help maintain the seafront in future. The council is also reinforcing the A259 to eliminate the risk of it eventually collapsing. At this location the road is not built on solid ground but carried by a Victorian bridge over the original beach.
Chair of the council’s environment committee Cllr Gill Mitchell said: “The project marches on. This has to be a very substantial structure to withstand a regular battering at this location. The project will provide us with a unique new property, attractive to businesses and customers, that will help pay for seafront maintenance decades into the future.”
The new building is expected to open in Spring 2019.