Thousands of tonnes of silt that currently lies on the bed of the River Lagan in Belfast will be dredged in a major project to maintain and enhance the river’s water quality and unique eco-system, the Northern Ireland’s Department for Communities reports.
The £3.3m investment by the Department, which manages the River Lagan, will see the river being dredged for the first time since 2011.
The Department has appointed local firm ABCO Marine Limited to deliver the project which is due to be completed by March 2020.
According to their release, the work will be carried out in a phased manner and as sections from Stranmillis Weir to Lagan Weir are completed they will be returned to river users for recreational use.
Commenting the latest news, Permanent Secretary at the Department for Communities, Tracy Meharg, said: “The River Lagan Dredging Project is a significant strategic investment by the Department to further strengthen the continued regeneration of Belfast. The investment is essential in ensuring its future as an integral part of Belfast City Center’s offering to residents, businesses and visitors alike.
“The River Lagan area is a key amenity in the City Center and is extensively used for walking, cycling and rowing. Maintaining navigation along the river will allow its continued use as a recreational waterway and will help improve water quality.”
The work involves thousands of tonnes of silt being removed from the bed of the River Lagan under a marine licence from Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs (DAERA). DAERA also licences the disposal of the material to an approved location at sea.
The river will be initially closed to navigation for a period of approximately 6 weeks for safety reasons at the start of the contract.