A major works project to dredge St Aubinâ€™s inner harbour is due to commence in early October 2012 and is expected to take up to four months to complete.
Dredging was last carried out in late 1998 and since this time silt and mud has built up and rendered some of the moorings unusable. Once completed, the harbour will return to its original state and depth, and will be easier and safer for boat owners to use.
The majority of boats currently moored in the harbour will be temporarily moved to alternative locations, including Elizabeth Marina, St Helier Marina and La Collette Yacht Basin.
Local boat owners have welcomed the news that the dredging is taking place, and are currently working with Jersey Marinas to arrange the removal of their boats from the harbour to allow enabling works to commence on Monday 8 October. Once the enabling works are completed, the actual dredging is expected to start on Monday 15 October 2012.
The decision to undertake the work at this time of the year was taken after consultation with St Aubinâ€™s Boat Ownerâ€™s Association so as to cause the minimum amount of disruption to residents and businesses outside of the summer holiday season. Work will be carried out Monday to Friday and, while there is likely to be some noise disruption, weekend or night work is not envisaged at this stage although work has to be timed around suitable tidal and weather conditions.
The majority of the material removed from the harbour will be taken by road to La Collette Energy from Waste Plant and the remainder will be disposed of at sea in a FEPA (Food and Environmental Protection Act 1985) licensed area, some 3.5 miles south of the Island.
It is the contractorâ€™s intention to allow as much public access to the area as is deemed safe. However, the southern arm of the pier (adjacent to the Royal Channel Islands Yacht Club) will be closed for the duration of the dredging work, with the potential loss of some designated parking spaces. However, additional spaces will be made available along the northern arm of the pier (adjacent to the Boat House Restaurant).
Local residents and businesses in the area have already received written letters from Jersey Marinas outlining the proposed works and a number of drop-in information sessions will be arranged in late September. A further meeting with local boat owners, including St Aubinâ€™s Boat Ownerâ€™s Association, has been arranged for Wednesday 13 September at St Brelade Parish Hall. Information boards will also be installed around the harbour site informing the public as to the work taking place and likely timescales.
The work is being carried on behalf of Jersey Marinas by local contractor Geomarine, who were appointed as a result of a States of Jersey tender process. The contractor has previously undertaken work for Jersey marinas on projects such as the pinning of St Aubinâ€™s Fort breakwater, and stabilisation works to both the north and south arms. Up to Â£650,000 has been allocated to the project, monies for which are to be taken from the Ports of Jersey Trading Fund.
Once completed, Jersey Marinas estimates that it will be a further 10 to 12 years before further dredging needs to be undertaken.
Dredging Today Staff, September 7, 2012