Works to install a new linkspan at Gourock Ferry Terminal have been completed as part of a £2.5 million project.
Caledonian Maritime Assets Limited (CMAL), which owns the terminal, has returned linkspan operations to CalMac following a five-month project to install a new linkspan and associated mechanical and electrical equipment and repair the support structures.
CMAL also carried out repairs worth £450,000 to the Kilcreggan steps, bringing in specialist divers to assist work to stabilise the steps.
The project completion means Gourock is now available as an alternative mainland port for vehicle services.
However, work is ongoing at the ferry terminal to complete a number of snagging items on the linkspan structure, and to modify the berthing fenders. A recent berthing trial for the CalMac vessels highlighted the need for minor alterations. These works are scheduled to be completed in March.
The fender modifications mean CalMac will continue to operate an amended timetable and some sailings will continue to use the boat steps.
Paul Colenso, senior civil engineer at CMAL, said:
“Before this work was done, we had been experiencing ongoing operational issues with the linkspan. At 50 years old, it had reached life expiry and repairs were no longer effective or commercially viable.
“The local community and those in Arran and Bute have been extremely patient, waiting for the linkspan to be upgraded. It will be another few weeks before the ferry timetable returns to ‘normal’, after we complete the fender modifications, but I hope ferry users will join me in welcoming the completion of the new linkspan.
“This was a significant investment in life-extending measures to improve the resilience of the infrastructure until the ferry terminal undergoes significant redevelopment as part of our wider programme.”
CMAL is progressing a project for the redevelopment of Gourock Ferry Terminal to ensure the long-term sustainability and resilience of the port.