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Project set to begin to upgrade King Edward VIII Pier 

Plans designed to protect critical marine infrastructure

A major engineering project designed to protect critical marine infrastructure is set to get under way in Douglas Harbour this weekend (Saturday 2nd September).

The scheme will see alterations made to King Edward VIII Pier to accommodate the Steam Packet's new vessel, Manxman, which is 8m longer and 3m wider than the Ben-my-Chree and weighs almost twice as much — 24,161 tonnes compared to 12,504 tonnes.

The improvements also form part of the wider Harbour Strategy approved by Tynwald in 2018, which included an upgrade to the King Edward VIII Pier to accommodate a larger vessel as a replacement for the Ben-my-Chree.

Improvements include: installing two new large steel piles around the end of the pier; installing three new 100-ton mooring bollards, close to the linkspan; and modifying the fenders which prevent a vessel from colliding with the harbour wall.

It's hoped the project will 'protect critical marine infrastructure' particularly during high winds.

Government says the opportunity will also be taken to undertake repairs to the pier wall, and the placement of rock bags will provide protection for the pier from underwater scour caused by the fast moving water around the vessel’s propellers.

The project is being undertaken by civil engineering specialists McLaughlin and Harvey, which manage construction projects across the British Isles.

On-site activity is due to take place around Manxman or Ben-My-Chree’s twice daily sailings. However, a 'three-week spell of favourable tidal conditions in mid-November has been identified to allow the vessel in service to berth at Victoria Pier and provide the contractors with exclusive access to King Edward VIII Pier during that time'.

While piling is often undertaken in projects of this type, drilling will instead enable the installation of the bollards and large diameter piles, with noise being kept to a minimum.

Contingency planning is in place to cope with dangerously high winds while the project takes place.

The project was included in this year’s Budget capital programme with £6.61m allocated.

Work is scheduled for completion in the new year.

You can find out more about the project on its dedicated webpage HERE.

Director of Harbours, David Gooberman says as most of the work will be done in the water, the public probably won't notice much of a difference:

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