Ardrishaig Pier repairs to begin
THREE months after a section of Ardrishaig’s stone pier collapsed into the sea, repairs are about to begin.
The project will see the damaged section of the 200-year-old pier, at the mouth of the Crinan Canal, rebuilt and reinforced by pier operator Scottish Canals so that it can be opened up once again for freight use.
Prior to the collapse in May, around 30,000 tonnes of timber freight passed through the harbour each year.
The refurbishment project is scheduled to be completed by the end of October.
Construction of the pier first began in 1800, with alterations carried out between 1817 and 1837 under the direction of Scottish engineer Thomas Telford.
The harbour pier was again extended in the mid-19th century to berth the Clyde steamers that transferred passengers to the Crinan Canal. Following the repairs to bring the pier back into use, a further phase will potentially see Scottish Canals widen and lengthen the pier to accommodate larger vessels. This work would also allow cruise vessels to berth.
Richard Millar, director of infrastructure at Scottish Canals, said: ‘We’ve been working to come up with a solution that will bring the pier back into use and restore timber operations. This project will safeguard and improve one of the Crinan Canal’s most important structures, ensuring the pier is cared for into the next century and beyond.
‘We’d like to thank the local community and hauliers for their patience and understanding during the pier’s closure.’
Since Ardrishaig Pier’s closure in the spring, much of the timber freight has instead been exported from Argyll using a floating pier operated by Ayr-based JST Services (Scotland) Ltd just up the Loch Fyne coast at Ardcastle.
A section of the stone pier collapsed in May this year.