Two harbours and two marinas in the Mid and East Antrim Council area will be dredged in the following days.
Under the cleanup plan, Charles Brand and Foyle & Marine Dredging will remove 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.
Commenting 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.”
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,” concluded Brown.