Upgrade works at Lochmaddy Harbour begin
George Leslie Ltd started works at Lochmaddy Harbour in April where the ferry terminal will be upgraded with new infrastructure.
The work forms a key part of the Skye Triangle upgrade where Comhairle nan Eilean Siar has been working closely with Transport Scotland, Caledonian Maritime Assets Ltd (CMAL), CalMac Ferries Ltd and the Highland Council to deliver the Lochmaddy works alongside the ongoing upgrade works at Tarbert and Uig.
The infrastructure improvements at Lochmaddy have been presented to the local community through a number of public consultation and community engagement events and will include an expanded marshalling area, pier extension and strengthening, new fendering and dredging.
In November 2020, the local authority was forced to terminate a £10 million contract for the upgrade works due to the main contractor’s failure to return from lockdown.
L&M Keating Ltd had initially suspended works at the onset of the coronavirus pandemic and did so again in July with the intention of returning to the sites at Lochmaddy and the Inchgreen Drydock on August 10 but failed to so do.
A Comhairle spokesperson, said: “We are pleased that construction works can begin again at Lochmaddy Pier. It was extremely unfortunate that the original contract with L&M Keating Ltd had to be terminated and the delay this caused to the delivery process but we look forward to now working with George Leslie Ltd in what is an important element of the Skye Triangle Infrastructure Improvement Programme.
“We continue to work with Transport Scotland, CMAL, CalMac Ferries Ltd and The Highland Council in delivering what is undoubtedly a significant investment in ferry services for the communities in Harris and the Uists. We do not envisage there being any disruption to the ferry service as a result of the works at Lochmaddy and any disruption at the pier itself will be kept to an absolute minimum.”
David Ross, managing director of George Leslie, added: “GL are delighted once again, to be working with Comhairle nan Eilean Siar to deliver the strategic improvements on this lifeline infrastructure project. These critical works will be undertaken whilst maintaining the ferry service, ensuring that any adverse impact to the communities upon the islands during construction is minimised.
“The project will provide a boost to the local economy through employment opportunities, plant and material supply, additional services and educational support. We will be liaising with the council, local schools and interested parties to develop a community benefits plan in order to maximise the positive impacts that this investment provides.”
Construction works are expected to be complete in spring 2023. Ferry services will be unaffected by the construction works at Lochmaddy at any time.