08 October 2013
The western linkspan drawbridge at Elizabeth Harbour will be replaced this winter with a new linkspan, which will be better suited to deal with the future requirements of the Port of Jersey and its shipping operators.
Since the existing linkspan was installed in the late 1980s, freight and passenger traffic coming in and out of the Island has significantly increased, and this increase is expected to continue in the coming years. In line with demand, sea vessels have also grown in size in recent years and it is expected that the next generation of ferries are likely to be significantly wider than the ships for which the existing linkspan was designed.
Civil engineering work has already taken place to widen both the concrete ramp and pedestrian tunnel in readiness for the replacement project, which is due to start on Tuesday 5 November 2013 and be completed in February 2014. Work will take place during port operational hours Monday to Friday, although subject to tidal restraints and weather conditions, weekend work may be necessary.
The specialist work is being carried out by Dutch maritime construction company, Ravestein, which is responsible for both the construction and installation of the linkspan. A budget of £5.5m has been allocated to the project from Port of Jersey’s trading fund and not through government financial support.
The west linkspan will be out of operation for the duration of the work, which means that ferries will only be able to berth at the eastern linkspan at Elizabeth Harbour. Port of Jersey has been working closely with Condor Ferries to ensure that this causes the minimum amount of disruption to ferry services. Similarly, nearby residents, businesses and interested parties have also been contacted by Port of Jersey, outlining the project and reassuring them that noise and disturbance level will be kept to a minimum during the period when this vital work is carried out.