Port Ellen Pier Works Ready in June - Blame it on the Weather

Following persistent poor weather conditions in the area, Caledonian Maritime Assets Limited (CMAL) has announced that works at Port Ellen are now anticipated to complete in June.

Since the last project update last October and subsequent public meeting in December, the contractor, McLaughlin & Harvey (McL&H) has continued to progress the Port Ellen Pier reconstruction works, with the steel sheet piling now nearing completion.

However, poor weather conditions have resulted in safety concerns for contractors and delayed works, including completion of the pier, which is dependent on the installation of steel sheet piles with the large crawler crane, which is not achievable safely in high winds.

CMAL fully support the contractor’s decision not to work when the risks posed by high winds cannot be suitably mitigated and now anticipate that works will complete on the 8 June 2012.

The project team of CMAL, McL&H and consultants Halcrow are continuing to work together to minimise any further delays to the programme and ensure that the project is completed as efficiently as possible. Continue reading...

Despite these challenges, CMAL has been able to accommodate the regular berthing and unloading of the grain delivery boat at Port Ellen, which takes place every three weeks and is an integral part of the malt supply to many of the island’s distilleries. CMAL has been working closely with Diageo to transfer grain to the island by truck and ferry when necessary, to prevent further delay to the construction programme.

CMAL has also been liaising with CalMac Ferries about progress with the works and any potential impact on ferry operations.

A further public update meeting will take place in the Columba Hall, Port Ellen, on Tuesday 13 March 2012.

Lorna Spencer, Director of Harbours said: “CMAL is committed to completing the works at Port Ellen as quickly as possible. However, the safety of contractors is of paramount importance and we are working closely with them to minimise any further disruption and delays.

“We will be hosting a public meeting at Port Ellen to advise the local community of the latest project updates on 13th March and will ensure that they are updated further during the course of the project through additional meetings and updates on the CMAL website.”

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