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Transport / Vehicles to be allowed back on Skerries ferry following linkspan work

The Skerries linkspan. Photo: SIC

THE SKERRIES ferry terminal linkspan will reopen to vehicles tomorrow (Friday).

Shetland Islands Council said this is a “significant achievement by the project team”, which includes the local authority’s ports and ferries team, Malakoff Limited and engineers Mott MacDonald Limited.

There has been no ro-ro ferry service for vehicles since late August.

It followed the identification of major structural problems in the concrete approach bridge last October.

These problems resulted in an immediate three-tonne gross vehicle weight load restriction, and a decision that the approach bridge should be replaced as soon as possible.

The fabrication of the necessary components was underway when Covid-19 struck, and the country went into lockdown. This caused a short delay, as Covid-secure methods and safe systems of work were developed to allow these essential works to continue.

The project restarted in April and on-site work commenced in August, with the last ferry service for vehicles taking place on 31 August. The existing approach bridge was demolished, new bearing shelves formed, and the new bridge lifted in.

Shetland Islands Council’s marine infrastructure and airports manager Andrew Inkster said: “We’re extremely pleased to see this project completed in such a short period of time.

“Given the scope of the work required, limiting the outage of the ro-ro ferry service to eight weeks is a significant achievement that was only possible due to the commitment and collaborative working of all members of the project team.”

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