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Council / Linkspan work completed at Vidlin ferry terminal

One of the new deck panels being lowered onto the frame of the Vidlin linkspan in April this year. Photo: SIC

THE VIDLIN ferry terminal linkspan was replaced this week by local contractors Malakoff Limited, working for Shetland Islands Council.

Work began on Monday afternoon to remove the previous linkspan, and it has been completed on schedule this week.

The old linkspan, approximately fourteen metres long and 30 tonnes in weight, was removed in an overnight operation at around 1am on Tuesday morning.

A new bearing plate was then fitted and the newly refurbished linkspan was lifted into place by crane on Wednesday.

A new hydraulic control ‘hut’ has also been installed with new hydraulic pumps, generators and control systems, to replace the previous equipment

The first ferry to test the new linkspan was the MV Fivla, which arrived from Skerries just before 11am this morning (Friday).

As part of the ongoing replacement programme, the linkspan that has been removed will be completely refurbished, including being shot blasted, welded and recoated, before being refitted at another ferry terminal at a later date.

The next linkspan to be replaced will be at Skerries ferry terminal, starting on Monday 17 May, weather depending.

Works are also planned for the Whalsay ferry terminal at Symbister later in the year.

Also involved in the works at Vidlin ferry terminal were consulting engineers Mott MacDonald and hydraulic specialists John Henderson (UK) Ltd.