A long-running pontoon drama in Alderney could finally be nearing a solution, with plans being drawn up for a new landing platform at Braye Harbour.
The visitor pontoons in Alderney reduced significantly at the beginning of the year due to extensive damage and a historic lack of maintenance. An RNLI surveyor was meant to come to the island to help plan for a new one, but covid put a stop to that.
The States hoped that a reduced pontoon would suffice for 2021, but larger vessels added to the strain and the damaged pontoon had to undergo emergency repairs earlier this year, while passenger ferries continued to berth at the commercial quay.
The Chairman of the General Services Committee publicly apologised for the situation as it flared up during the tourist season: “This is a situation we regretfully find ourselves in, accept is less than ideal, and will ensure is not repeated,” said Boyd Kelly back in June.
The culmination of months of pontoon problems has led the GSC to propose building a larger landing platform in place of the current set-up.
Pictured: The Alderney pontoon reduced in size earlier this year due to damage to its concrete piles (legs).
It’s hoped that a larger pontoon will allow for larger vessels to berth, instead of just yacht tenders. The Little Ferry Company used the pontoon unofficially for a while, despite being too large for it.
Mr Kelly said the GSC is now budgeting and planning for a replacement pontoon in 2023. “To scope, budget, tender and build such a structure is not achievable for next season,” he said.
“We have therefore agreed and budgeted for an engineer to examine the existing piles and pontoon to ensure it is available for use next year.”
All images supplied by David Nash.
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