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Berth improvement underway at Portland

The Board of Portland Port have approved in principle, the deepening of the seabed level either side of the Queens Pier outer arm, to accommodate larger cruise and cargo vessel.

The project has been subject to a full competitive tendering process resulting in CMP Thames Ltd, based in Ringwood, securing the work. The Pier is to be dredged from 8m to 11m. 

Queen’s Pier was originally constructed in 1952 by A E Farr Ltd, using reinforced concrete piles that were manufactured locally as the berth extended seawards. In 1973 it was further extended using similar design parameters but supported on steel piles. In 2011 two strong points and a new dolphin were built to accommodate the larger forces attributable to evolving vessels that would be accommodated on the berth.

To achieve the desired 11m depth, a project must be undertaken to ensure the inherent strength of the berth is maintained. The project will involve sheet piling either side of the berth to maintain the historic context of the structure.Once the sheet piling is in place on either side of the berth, the dredging can then begin.  At the same time the berth will be extended by the construction of a new mooring dolphin, resulting in a facility for berthing vessels up to 230m long with drafts up to 10.5m. Once completed this will enable some of the vessels which currently have to be accommodated on Outer Coaling Pier and Deep-Water Berth, to be berthed at Queen’s pier outer arm instead.

CMP Thames Ltd was commissioned to design, manage and construct the installation by the end June 2019. The formal signing of contracts took place on 12th December 2018.

This announcement follows an extension to the Ports main cruise and cargo berth, which was opened in April 2017. Dredging is currently taking place to increase the water depth at this berth, Outer Coaling Pier, to 11m. The dredging of OCP, which is nearly complete, will allow the port to accommodate fully laden Panamax bulk cargo vessels and tankers, as well as cruise vessels up to 350m in length.

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