On the 10th of June CMAL (Caledonian Maritime Assets Ltd) issued a press release announcing that the Tiree Pier Head Reconstruction Work is to restart. The plan is for preparations to resume the repair work to begin sometime during the week commencing Monday 15 June 2020.
Today, Monday the 15th of June, was sunny, warm and calm. It was a pleasure walking by the Old Harbour at Scarinish. The work recently undertaken there was clear to be seen by the absence of debris and old boats, other than the scant remains of the Mary Stewart.
Now the Old Harbour st Scarinish is not to be confused with the CMAL Pier at the Ferry Terminal at Gott Bay (Scarinish). Caledonian Maritime Assets Limited owns the ferry terminal and is repairing the old pier head. This was the pier before the introduction of the linkspan.. The repair work which commenced in 2019 had to be postponed when the coronavirus when the lockdown came into force on 23 March.
The press release states:
CMAL’s contractor, George Leslie Ltd, will have a small team on site to prepare for the project to restart. Site preparation works are expected to last for two weeks. CMAL is following the guidance in the six-step restart plan agreed by the Scottish Government and the construction industry to recommence work as part of Scotland’s lockdown being eased.
The first two steps of the construction plan involve arranging Covid-19 related measures that need to be in place and returning to sites with a small number of personnel to prepare. Site preparation works involve implementing physical distancing, marking of two metre distancing and installation of additional hand washing/sanitiser provisions.
These preparations will allow the sites and work areas to be ready for the subsequent steps of returning to work. Working closely with CMAL, George Leslie Ltd has put in place robust plans to ensure the safety of the island community and their staff. A small number of personnel will stay in self catering accommodation and their interactions with the local community will be minimal by avoiding other public places, arranging grocery deliveries to site, engaging with Calmac terminal staff through email and telephone only and following the appropriate guidance in the event that anyone becomes unwell during the works.
The move to the next step of the construction re-start plan, a “soft start” with limited personnel on site, is still subject to Scottish Government confirmation. CMAL will provide an update in due course.
Nasir Uddin, senior civil engineer at CMAL, said:
“The health and safety of island communities, our employees and suppliers are a priority. We are following all guidance stringently and taking all necessary precautions to safeguard their health and to prevent the spread of coronavirus. “We welcome the opportunity to get our harbour maintenance and upgrade programme underway again, and we await further guidance from government as to when we can progress beyond site preparation. Safety comes first and we will be guided by the industry plan.”