Further delay to Lochmaddy Project
9 November 2020
Comhairle nan Eilean Siar has today announced that the delivery of the improvement works at Lochmaddy Pier, North Uist, will be delayed following the failure of the contractor, L&M Keating Ltd, to return to the site following their suspension of the works, initially in March due to COVID-19 lockdown restrictions and then again in July 2020.
Following a consideration of the contractual details by the Comhairle at the end of September, the contract with Keating has now been terminated and the Comhairle, in collaboration with Transport Scotland as key funders of the project, are exploring options for commissioning and organising delivery of the works.
In the meantime, there is a need to undertake reinstatement works at the site to ensure it is left safe and secure for the intervening period and it is planned to undertake these in the coming weeks. In addition, it is proposed to undertake a programme of enabling works over the coming months, including completing the demolition of the former Visit Scotland and former Coastguard properties and undertaking advance utility diversion works at the site.
Cllr Uisdean Robertson, Chair of the Comhairle’s Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, said, “Whilst we recognise the financial and organisational challenges facing the Contractor, it is crucial that we continue with the delivery of the improvement works. The decision to terminate the contract was not taken lightly and we see re-engaging with the construction sector as soon as possible as the best way forward for the project”.
Delays to Lochmaddy project
1 October 2020
Following the initial suspension of the construction works at the Lochmaddy Pier Improvement Project due to the COVID-19 pandemic lockdown, the main contractor L&M Keating Ltd suspended works again on 20 July 2020 with the intention of returning to the sites at Lochmaddy and the Inchgreen Drydock on 10 August 2020.
The contractor, who currently remains solvent, has not returned to either site and options as to how the project can continue have been considered and evaluated by Comhairle nan Eilean Siar’s project delivery team.
Today (Wednesday 1 October 2020), the Comhairle considered a report which sets out these options and it was agreed that the Chief Executive take any actions necessary to safeguard the interests of the Comhairle, potentially including the termination of the contract with L&M Keating Ltd and the re-tendering of the works.
Cllr Uisdean Robertson, Chair of the Comhairle’s Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, said, “It is disappointing for the Comhairle and, particularly, the community and business sectors in North Uist that we find ourselves in this position”.
“It is however important that we continue with the delivery of the project whilst protecting the positions of the Comhairle and Transport Scotland as much as possible and it is clear that we may now have to explore alternative avenues for delivering the infrastructure improvements”.
“An additional concern for us has been the impact of the current situation on the local supply chain, including island-based subcontractors and suppliers of materials and other services. I am however confident that the mechanism now in place within the administration of the contract will minimise the impact on these businesses as much as possible”.
Statement from Transport Scotland
1 October 2020
“The Scottish Government remains committed to the Skye Triangle Infrastructure programme and harbour upgrades at Tarbert, Lochmaddy and Uig.
“The Lochmaddy Pier project is led by Comhairle nan Eilean Siar and we will continue to work with them, and other members of the multi-agency Skye Triangle Infrastructure Improvement Programme Steering Group, to establish a way forward that meets the needs of all programme stakeholders and communities.”
Options being considered for project restart
31 August 2020
Comharile nan Eilean Sar is currently working with contractor L&M Keating Ltd to identify and evaluate options associated with the need to continue the improvement works at Lochmaddy Pier.
The works programme has been delayed due to the implementation and subsequent lifting of restrictions to construction activity arising from the COVID-19 pandemic. We are aware that the contractor, who remains solvent, is facing significant financial challenges as a result of their involvement in construction works elsewhere. Construction activities at the Lochmaddy site and at the Inchgreen drydock have been suspended by the contractor in the meantime.
The restarting of construction works is anticipated for September 2020 with completion expected by Autumn 2021. The Comhairle will continue to engage with L&M Keating Ltd to progress the works, however if parties are unable to agree a way forward, the Comhairle, in consultation with the Skye Triangle Steering Group, will have to consider options associated with the re-tendering of the works which would delay the completion of the project until 2022 .
Work suspended due to COVID-19
On 24th March 2020, Comharile nan Eilean Sar instructed the suspension of construction works in accordance with Scottish Government guidelines due to Covid-19.
L&M Keating Ltd had been on site for three weeks and had established their site compound and commenced excavation works for the extension of the car park and marshalling area.
Work ceased on construction activities, and the team made the site and compound safe, before demobilising staff and labour from Lochmaddy. Preparation works (appointing subcontractors, purchasing materials etc.) are continuing but construction activities will remain suspended until government lockdown restrictions are lifted.
Contract awarded to L&M Keating Ltd
16th January 2020
Comhairle nan Eilean Siar has awarded a £10.1m contract to marine, civil engineering and building contractor, L&M Keating Ltd to carry out upgrade works at Lochmaddy Pier in North Uist.
Keating will be responsible for completing all civil engineering works for the harbour upgrade project, including pier strengthening and extension, upgraded fendering, land reclamation and seabed dredging. The work will commence in January 2020 and is expected to be completed in spring 2021. CalMac will continue to operate ferry services during the works.
The infrastructure upgrade work at Lochmaddy is part of the Skye Triangle Infrastructure Project, which involves significant harbour upgrades at the three ports at Tarbert, Lochmaddy and Uig. The work is designed to improve and modernise harbour facilities and prepare the way for new vessels.
Minister for Energy, Connectivity and the Islands Paul Wheelhouse said:
“I am very pleased to see the planned upgrade of Lochmaddy Pier moving forward with the award of this contract, following the recent award of the contract for construction works at Tarbert on the Isle of Harris.
“Work can now begin on the construction phase of the project, which will deliver an improved experience for the passengers who use these important services.
“Transport Scotland continues to work with Comhairle nan Eilean Siar, The Highland Council and CMAL in the delivery of our ambitious plans for the facilities at the three ports of Tarbert, Lochmaddy and Uig through the Skye Triangle Infrastructure Project. I look forward to seeing this project help to further improve connectivity from and to the Western Isles, with subsequent benefits for the local economy.”
Cllr Uisdean Robertson, Chair of the Comhairle’s Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, said:
“We are very pleased to have reached this very important milestone in the delivery of infrastructure improvements for the wider Skye Triangle route.
We look forward to continuing to work with Transport Scotland, with CMAL and now with Keating in making significant improvements to the pier and marshalling areas at Lochmaddy.
We are confident that the investment in port infrastructure across the Skye Triangle route will make a significant contribution to growing and sustaining efficient and effective transport links for the islands.”
16th January 2020
A public meeting will be held at Lochmaddy Community Hall to update island residents on the programme of upgrade work as the contractor, Keating Construction, makes plans to begin work at Lochmaddy harbour.
The meeting will be held on Thursday 30th January, 4.00pm to 7.00pm. Individuals are invited to drop in at any time during the meeting.
Representatives from Comhairle nan Eilean Siar, CMAL, Wallace Stone and Keating Construction will attend the meeting to provide information on the planned construction work and answer any questions that may arise.
Work is expected to commence mid-February 2020 and last for approximately 12 months. CalMac will continue to operate ferry services during the works.
Marine Construction and Dredge Licences
7 November 2019
Comhairle nan Eilean Siar has been granted marine construction and dredge licences for the upgrade works at Lochmaddy Ferry Terminal. A copy of the decision notice and the licences are available to read below: