Contractors are ready to start work on dredging four key coastal sites across Mid and East Antrim.
The joint venture will see Charles Brand and Foyle & Marine Dredging sift around 30,000m3 – enough to fill 12 Olympic swimming pools – of silt, sand and sediment over a number of months at Carnlough and Carrickfergus harbours, and Glenarm and Carrickfergus marinas.
Marina dredging is essential for harbours and marinas to operate, remain safe for its users and helps protect the environment. It can also help maintain water quality as it reduces the likelihood of boat propellers agitating the ocean floor and clouding the water.
Dredging helps to improve channel depth by removing organic materials that accumulate over time inside a marina’s basin.
Welcoming the announcement Mayor of Mid and East Antrim, Cllr William McCaughey said: “This is a huge, but necessary undertaking. We have all the confidence in our appointed contractors to get our marinas and harbours back to peak operating levels with as little disruption to boat owners as possible. Thanks to our consultants Gavin & Doherty Geosolutions Ltd (GDG) for their hard work to date and we are glad to see work getting underway to help improve our facilities for berth holders across the borough. We really appreciate the patience from our marina customers and boat owners as we complete this essential project.
“Council values the tourism benefits our top class facilities across our harbours and marinas bring to our coastal communities. We are committed to constantly improving our tourism offerings here in Mid and East Antrim and continue to thank the patience of our local people as we embark on this project.”
Carnlough Harbour will be closed from 1-19 November 2021, Glenarm Marina will close from 19 November – 16 December 2021, Carrickfergus Marina will shut from 16 December 2021 – 26 March 2022 and Carrickfergus Harbour will close from 26 March – 17 May 2022.
William Brown, Principal Engineer at GDG said: “This project takes forward the feasibility study work undertaken by GDG over the course of 2020 into the construction stage in order to reinstate seabed levels at each site to previous navigable depths. A total volume of approximately 30,000m3 of soft seabed sediments are expected to be removed over the course of the coming 7 months to provide essential maintenance of council owned harbour and marina assets for commercial marine traffic, as well as for leisure and tourism purposes.
“GDG were responsible for the design concept, feasibility assessment, site investigation, maintenance dredging and disposal licence applications, detailed design and contract tender documents of the site works.”
Charles Brand Director, Patrick Harney added: “Dredging is basically the removal of sediments and debris from the bottom of lakes, rivers, and harbours. It is a routine necessity in waterways around the Northern Ireland coast because sedimentation gradually fills channels and harbours. We are pleased to be delivering this scheme for Mid and East Antrim Borough Council and look forward to commencing works shortly.”
Charles Brand Group specialise in bespoke marine civil engineering solutions across the United Kingdom.