The navy have been maintaining the breakwater ever since it was built, we were told that around another 500,000 tons has been added to the breakwater since it was built.
In 1954 they did a report on the state of the breakwater. It they had to keep placing extra 100 100ton blocks so the front of the breakwater did not get washed away. They were to put the blocks in the following places;
- to be placed in the low areas at the Western end;
- to be placed in a line at the Western end 20ft out from the granite buttress and at 20ft centres, pointing outwards
- placed in line farther out and in low areas along the Eastern Arm of the Breakwater
- to continue the 20ft line of blocks from the western arm to the eastern end of the breakwater
Today Babcock marine look after the maintenance of the breakwater, with the navy looking after the fort and lighthouses
Today instead of dumping rock on the breakwater haphazardly 100ton concreate blocks are made at Oreston, and carried out on the barge below at high water then positioned and dropped.
Recently we got involved with an artist keith Harrison about turning one of these blocks into a work or art then putting it on to the breakwater (https://heavyrockplymouth.wordpress.com)
They now mark the blocks so they know the date they put it in, so they can see how much it gets eroded.
The sea still moves blocks, the one below was moved from the front to on top only 2 years ago, it is half the size of the new blocks and half worn out so it is about 30 tons
The blocks have been placed at a rate of between 6 and 12 Blocks from 1954 until the present day, with only a couple of breaks and they reckon that by 2020 they will have put the number of blocks at the breakwater that the report from 1954 said.
A video at a news item in 1990 about the damage done to the breakwater by a storm http://www.plymouth.gov.uk/ppseaandseasidevideo05