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New £1.4 million pontoon infrastructure installed

This will allow more than half of the East Arm to be returned to public parking shortly.

A much-reduced work compound will remain on the far end of the East Arm for around three more weeks so that power upgrades to these pontoons and further electrical works can be carried out safely.

Assistant Harbourmaster Kieran Higgs said: "Replacing the D&E pontoons is part of a long-term investment programme designed to modernise and upgrade facilities for our mooring holders.

"The location of D & E pontoons, closest to the marina gates, boasts the deepest water across all four of our marinas. This makes it perfectly suited to larger vessels, particularly sailboats with deeper drafts, which are currently in high demand."

"The project has not only enhanced our facilities, it has allowed us to optimise this area's layout to specifically address the demand for larger vessels and better serve our customers' needs."

Work commenced in mid-January, with around 120 vessels temporarily relocated or craned out of the water onto hard standing at the East Arm.

The old pontoons, which date back to the construction of the QEII Marina in the 1980s, were lifted out of the water, and hundreds of metres of modular walkways, platforms and finger pontoons were shipped to the island.

The successful installation of the new pontoon infrastructure has been overseen by Guernsey Ports Project Manager Jenny Giles.

"When we identified D&E for replacement, we were looking for pontoons that would significantly upgrade what we already had," said Mrs Giles.

"These new 'System 21' pontoons from UK market leaders Walcon Marine have a strong and durable galvanised steel structure, which is important as D&E provide moorings to around 100 of the largest vessels in our marinas."

The pontoon system is supported by a network of subaquatic pile structures, generally around 11 metres in height, which are set into large concrete bases to stabilise them.

Mrs Giles continued: "Three new supporting piles have been constructed for D&E and the existing piles have been repainted and reinforced in order to provide really sturdy bases for the new pontoons.

"Meanwhile, the new pontoons have been constructed on the quayside, before being craned into the water in stages, which then enabled us to apply the fittings, assemble the new runs, and connect them to power and utilities, which are of an excellent standard on the new pontoons."

The 'D' pontoons have all been fully connected to their new electrical and water supplies, with power upgrades to 'E' pontoon ongoing and due to be completed shortly.

Once complete, the opportunity will also be taken to upgrade the electrical supply to the neighbouring R and EX pontoons.

Mr Higgs added: "With the new cabling being installed for D&E, this provided a very cost-effective opportunity to make these improvements for our berth holders on R and EX earlier than initially planned. Due to efficiencies developed throughout the course of the D&E project, this additional work is covered within the total project budget."

What next?

Just over half of the East Arm is due to be re-opened imminently for public parking. To coincide with this, Traffic & Highways will revert 2 blocks (78 spaces) of temporary 10-hour back to 3-hour at North Beach. These spaces were rezoned as long-stay parking during the parking suspension along the East Arm.

The far end of the East Arm will remain closed for a few more weeks, for:

·         The completion of power upgrades to E pontoon, which requires landside trenching and cable installations

·         The completion of power upgrades and utilities to EX and R pontoons

·         The removal of the old D&E pontoons. These need to be stripped by Ports Maintenance Teams so that individual parts such as the aluminium frame can be shipped off for recycling.

Mr Higgs added: "We want to thank our mooring holders for their patience and cooperation while we have been undertaking these upgrades. We have been able to welcome most of our berth holders onto their new moorings and look forward to having the last few back shortly in time for the start of the boating season."