West Cork’s fishing industry is to gain a new €23.5m, 216m-long quay development following approval of the project and associated works on Dinish Island, Castletownbere. The Department of Agriculture and RPS Group are working on the new quay which will boost the fishing trade of the town. The project was announced in 2015 by Minister Creed and its construction is due to be completed by the end of 2019.
The overall development includes the following works:
- Construction of a new 216m long quay structure using a combination of steel sheet and tubular piles.
- Reclamation and infilling of an area, approx. 0.9 ha/ 2.2 acres, behind the new quay wall.
- Dredging approx. 57,000m3 of sea bed material adjacent to the new quay structure to form a 40m wide berthing pocket at a depth of -8.0m Chart Datum (CD).
- Dredging of the existing navigation channel to a depth of -6.5mCD (approx. 17,000m3 dredge material).
- Construction of two new breakwater structures comprising sheet pile cell structures and rock armour revetments with a flexible pavement surfacing.
- Reclamation of approximately 2.5ha of land adjacent to the existing Dinish Wharf to act as a quay/storage hinterland area using a combination of imported rock and reclaimed dredge material.
- Provision of all Water, Electrical & Fuels Services.
- Provision of new drainage system.
- Provision of heavy duty pavement surfacing to new wharf/quay structure area.
- Relocation of existing Navigation Lights and directional lighting.
- Revised Security and Access Arrangements for Quay Facilities including the provision and installation of ISPS fencing, CCTV and new flexible paving access road.
- Provision of Quay furniture and all other associated marine facilities and services.
Premier Engineering spoke to Tony O’Sullivan and Noel O’Murchú from the Department of Agriculture Food and the Marine about their involvement in the construction of the quay extension.
“The Department previously completed a major development on the pier at Dinish wharf in 2012. That development was a big success and it attracted a lot of new interest into the harbour of Castletownbere. As a result, the new wharf has become very congested and the number of vessels wanting to use the pier has increased beyond its capacity. That led to the announcement of this current project in 2015, which was to carry out further extension work to the pier.
“We appointed the consulting engineers (RPS Group) after a tendering process, on the 2nd November 2015. The planning process was long and we had to go through a number of hoops because it was identified as a potentially nationally important ”strategic infrastructure development”, with consequent planning implications, meaning it had to be assessed by the State’s planning appeals board, An Bord Pleanala as a first step. It took some time but we managed to go through the normal planning route. The difficulties planning brought up were questions like the amount of traffic it would generate throughout the town and on the existing road network, especially being in a fairly remote location.” RPS was appointed by DAFM to provide consultancy services for the Project Management and Detailed design of Dinish Wharf Expansion at Castletownbere Fishery Harbour Centre. Services included a feasibility study to determine the conceptual layout, preparation and submission of planning application to the local authority, detailed design, and preparation of Contract documents, Contract administration, site supervision and PSDP services. Premier Engineering spoke to Kelly Guiney from RPS about the ongoing works. She said:
“During the feasibility stage we considered a number of layout options, including extending the existing quay to the east instead of the west, but this was ruled out due to the costs associated with relocating existing infrastructure. The current layout proved to be the most feasible in terms of constructability and budget. It also provided an additional 216m length of berthing for the harbour, which means the harbour will have the facility to land more vessels and reduce the congestion on the existing wharf.
In terms of challenges “the layout was designed to take account of working within the constraints of an operational harbour, we had to ensure that the works could be constructed without impacting the existing harbour operations and neighbouring businesses”.
“The design also considered the project in terms of sustainability, particularly given the remote location of the works. The dredging and reclamation works were designed to reduce the amount of material transported off site, this was achieved by reusing the dredge material as fill within the works”.
Lastly, “the design had to consider the ground conditions, particularly the varying seabed rock levels, in terms of stability of the proposed quay structures in both their temporary and permanent states and the constructability of these structures within the tidal environment”.
Tony, Noel and Kelly agreed that the public were in favour of these current developments. Kelly said:
“At the planning stage we held a public consultation so that the stakeholders could voice their opinions or bring up any objections they may have, overall the majority of the stakeholders were in favour of the development and generally had no objections.”
Casteltownbere was originally known for its fishing port and it is a fishing town. Anything that will improve the fishing trade there will be positive, hence why there was such favour for the works from the locals. The development will boost the local economy and local fishing trade, and as the island is part of the harbour it all benefits from the development. It is set to help the fishing trade off the west coast of Ireland, as the catch would come in, then be transported by road to the continent. Dinish Wharf attracts, and will continue to attract a lot of business.
“It has been a great project for us to be involved in, particularly because of the complex nature of the works and the variety of engineering challenges involved. We had a great collaborative relationship working with the DAFM from the conceptual design stage through to construction on site”.
“We work on a number of different projects for the Department of Agriculture as we’re civil servants as well as engineers and we’re very used to taking on projects of this nature. “
The Department of Agriculture are currently working on other harbours around the Irish coast.