The dredging works to construct a new Eastern Channel for Cowes have been completed by CHC’s contractor Jenkins Marine.
Bed leveling has been carried out to flatten the base of the trench, and the Channel is now due to be surveyed, although the exact timing of this is weather dependent, reported the CHC.
Following the survey, the new navigation buoys will be laid. Once all the buoys have been installed, the new Eastern Channel will be declared open for harbor users and a Local Notice to Mariners issued.
The new Eastern Channel will provide a minimum of 2.25m (below chart datum) channel, and a more direct route to the Solent than the current Small Craft Channel, allowing smaller vessels safe access to and egress from the harbor, minimizing potential conflict with the larger ferry and commercial traffic movements.
The dredging was carried out by the 30m versatile dredge barge Doreen Dorward whose excellent manoeuvrability, shallow draft and low forward freeboard, made her ideal for precision dredging operations such as this.
During the works, around 30,000m³ dredged spoil was removed and deposited into Jenkins Marine’s two 300m³ capacity self-propelled split Hopper barges Nab and Needles.