Lerwick Port Authority’s £12 million dredging project has reached a significant stage. The dredging phase is almost complete and some dredging plant will leave Lerwick in the next few days.

Drill and blast operations were completed ahead of schedule by the barge “Playmate” and she has now been released along with one of the disposal barges. The backhoe dredger “Manu Pekka” is presently finalising the extraction and it is expected she will be released next week with the second disposal barge.

Wider and deeper navigable water has been provided with now 9 metres of water depth throughout the north entrance and channel, at Greenhead Basin and at the landing berth at Shetland Catch.

Additional areas deepened include at Heogan where the landing berth access is now 8 metres deep, at Mair’s Yard where it is now 6 metres deep and at the inner harbour anchorage where an area has been taken down to 10 metres.

Contractor Westminster Dredging is preparing surveys of the dredged areas prior to replacing the navigation buoys to mark the newly deepened channels.

Harbourmaster Captain Calum Grains said “The dredging phase of the project is on schedule. We expect to see a number of large ships transiting through the harbour to and from Greenhead Base this winter.”

To complete the dredging project, Westminster Dredging is protecting the land reclamation site created north of Greenhead Base. Large rock armour stone has been delivered from Norway and materials are now onsite to complete the works by early November. 14.4 acres of land has been created by re-using the dredged material.

Lerwick Port Authority’s Chief Executive Sandra Laurenson said “The Authority has already started planning its next capital projects to provide deep water quays enabled by the dredging. The 2008 dredging works are part of the constant evolution of the harbour to keep pace with shipping. We forecast that dredging will be required again in the harbour in the future.”

For further information, contact Calum Grains or Sandra Laurenson on 01595 692991.

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