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Comhairle nan Eilean Siar has welcomed the announcement that Caledonian Maritime Assets Limited (CMAL) has awarded a £14.3 million contract to civil engineering and building contractor RJ McLeod Limited to carry out upgrade works at Tarbert Ferry Terminal in Harris.
The infrastructure upgrade work at Tarbert is part of the Skye Triangle Infrastructure Project, which involves significant harbour upgrades at the three ports at Tarbert, Lochmaddy and Uig.
The work is designed to improve and modernise harbour facilities and prepare the way for new vessels.
Councillor Uisdean Robertson, chairman of the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, said the news was very welcome.
‘This will complement the construction works at Lochmaddy, scheduled for January 2020. While ferry services in the islands face many challenges, it is good to see that, as well as improving facilities and infrastructure which will benefit the travelling public, this development should also provide much needed local employment directly and indirectly through engagement with the local supply chain,’ he said.
RJ McLeod will be responsible for completing all civil engineering works for the initial phase of the harbour upgrade project, including pier reconstruction and extension, land reclamation and seabed dredging.
The work will commence in October 2019 and is expected to be completed in spring 2021. CalMac will continue to operate ferry services during the works.
A new terminal building will be constructed after the completion of the civil engineering works. This will be procured separately, at a later date.
Tenders for the construction works at Lochmaddy were due by Tuesday of this week and it is hoped the comhairle will be in a position to award the contract by the beginning of November, with a start on site currently scheduled for January 2020 and completion expected in January 2021.