A £13.75 million refurbishment project is currently underway to improve freight-handling facilities at St Peter Port Harbour.
The harbour is the main passenger port for Guernsey and is located in the island’s main town. The project is scheduled to take around two years to reach completion and includes the dismantling of four of the five current cranes and the installation of two brand new mobile units.
The current cranes – which handle more than 50,000 tonnes of freight a year – are more than 40 years old and in need of replacement. The new cranes will be equipped to operate on either diesel or electricity.
Before the cranes can be installed the existing freight berths need to be repaired and strengthened. The concrete deck structure on one of the berths will be replaced and repairs will be made to the other berths where corrosion is evident on the supporting beams and columns.
The work on the berths has been designed to last for the next 50 years, whilst the cranes will have a lifespan of approximately 25 years.
Due to the nature of the work required the civil works are being undertaken by two contractors – CRL (Concrete Repairs Limited) and Dawson WAM.
Construction began in April and a temporary freight storage area has been created to allow work to continue at the Port while the refurbishment is taking place. This storage area is located at the eastern end of North Beach car park, adjacent to the harbour berths.
Deputy Paul Luxon, Minister of Guernsey’s Public Services Department, commented:
“The fact is we rely on goods that come through the harbour, which include food, clothing, and many other essential items. We have to ensure we maintain the current services and manage the works as best we can.”
During the preliminary works on North Beach sections of walling on the existing car park were removed to form the entrance and exit for a temporary traffic access road. The stone is being stored until the walls can be reinstated once the project is complete.
New parking arrangements have also been introduced, with replacement commuter spaces on the nearby East Arm and Castle Emplacement.
Dawson WAM – who is carrying out the work on Berth 5 – completed the first phase in July 2012. The work involved the installation of new cable ducts to provide power supplies to the freight handling areas. The next phase involves piling new supports before the replacement of the upper deck level.
Once this work is complete on this phase, the company will demolish the existing cranes on Berth 5 ahead of the arrival of the first new one towards the end of 2012.
The refurbishment of St Peter Port Harbour is scheduled to reach completion in 2014.