Works begin at Uig Harbour on Skye this week where the ferry terminal will be upgraded with new infrastructure to provide facilities for the long-delayed ferry being built for the route on the Clyde.
Next year there will be months of disruption to the ferry services to Tarbert and to Lochmaddy when the Uig pier is entirely closed.
The work is being undertaken by RJ McLeod (Contractors) Ltd who have been working on the equivalent project in Tarbert.
This all forms a key part of the Skye Triangle upgrade where The Highland Council have been working with Transport Scotland, Caledonian Maritime Assets Ltd (CMAL), CalMac Ferries Ltd and Comhairle nan Eilean Siar to deliver the Uig works which are needed to match the ongoing upgrade works at Tarbert and Lochmaddy.
This project is itself years behind its original schedule.
The infrastructure improvements will include an extended marshalling area, berthing structure strengthening and widening, linkspan replacement, approachway repair and widening, a relocated new waiting shelter, a new terminal building (to be tendered separately and constructed during the main works), dredging and utility provision.
Construction works are expected to be complete in summer 2023 with an outage period (required to construct the linkspan and outer roundhead, during which there can be no ferry service to/from Uig) programmed from 12 September 2022 to 3 February 2023.
CalMac Ferries Ltd are currently assessing options associated with alternative ferry service arrangements during the closure period of Uig to provide capacity for this vital ferry link and will consult with relevant communities in the coming weeks.
The community will be informed of further details of the construction works and traffic management arrangements through locally held liaison meetings over the next month and throughout the project, the Highland Council Project website - www.highland.gov.uk/uig-harbour-redevelopment, community Facebook pages and on noticeboards located around the local community.
Chair of the Council’s Skye and Raasay Committee, CouncillorJohn Gordon said: “I am pleased that the Uig Harbour Redevelopment works are now due to start on site. Construction of such a major harbour infrastructure scheme will no doubt create disruption for the community and harbour users so I am pleased Highland Council and RJ McLeod staff will be holding regular and frequent community and harbour user liaison meetings, as well as having progress updates posted on a dedicated Uig Harbour Redevelopment website and on social media. It is important that residents and harbour users are clear what to expect and are able to communicate easily with the contractor. We all want to see disruption well managed for the project.”
RJ McLeod, Director, Sandy Osborne, said: "We are very pleased to be working again with The Highland Council to deliver this important infrastructure project which will accommodate the new vessel on the Skye Triangle.
"It will follow our soon-to-be completed pier redevelopment in Tarbert where our works have delivered a boost to the local economy, not only in terms of employment with an established local highland contractor, but also in terms of the extensive and valuable local supply chain of goods and services.
"An integral part of the project will be community liaison and protection of the environment and we will follow and build on the good practices developed in recent projects."
RJ McLeod will be working closely with the Skye and Lochalsh Job Centreplus to target recruitment and training opportunities locally. The site team will be engaging with the neighbouring schools and colleges to deliver educational support and careers inspiration across Skye.