A one-month extension has been granted to enable dredging work in Peel Marina to continue until the end of June and ensure this year’s programme is completed as planned.
The operation to remove 44,000 tonnes of silt is progressing well since resuming activity following a four-week hiatus during the enforced shutdown of the construction sector caused by the coronavirus pandemic.
Tim Baker MHK, Member of the Department of Infrastructure with responsibility for Ports and chairman of the Peel Marina Project Board, said:
‘A great deal of progress has been achieved since dredging resumed towards the end of April, and I’m pleased that the necessary permissions are now in place to extend this year’s activity to the end of June, offsetting the impact of the Covid-19 shutdown.
‘This continues to be a very challenging project but one that will restore the Marina to its full operation and enable it to continue to play a key role for Peel and the Island as an attractive destination.’
This year marks the first of two dredging programmes to remove 22,000 tones, with the second due to get underway in spring 2021.
The dredging process involves using a long reach excavator on a floating barge. The material is transported 450 metres in purpose-designed trailers to a temporary drainage pool constructed in a field upstream from the Marina, beyond the Power Station site.
Moving the material involves two tractors and trailers undertaking a total of 50 movements a day, currently running 7am to 7pm Monday to Saturday.
To simplify these movements, the contractor has recently been granted permission to use an alternative route to move the material to the drainage pool, and can now use either Mill Road or the former steam railway Heritage Trail junction off Station Road.
Road closure orders are in place to cover the path the trailers take from the boat yard on East Quay. Drivers and pedestrians can continue to pass through the area, however, as it remains under the control of the contractors who are responsible for traffic management and will indicate when it is safe to proceed.
‘Road Closed’ signs are displayed during each period of short closure between 7am and 7pm.
Both the Heritage Trail and Mill Road are subject to a full-time road closures during the duration of the dredging programme, with access maintained at all times for businesses and residents.
Mr Baker added:
‘The co-operation of the community, particularly nearby residents and businesses, while this work takes place is vital to the success of the overall scheme and is hugely appreciated.
‘I’d also like to acknowledge the work undertaken by our partners at the Manx Wildlife Trust, which monitors the project from an ecological perspective alongside regulation by the Department of the Environment, Food and Agriculture.
‘The Trust will be stepping up its visits next month to ensure the impact on local wildlife is kept to an absolute minimum and confirm the project continues to adhere to a range of environmental requirements set down in law.’