Posted on February 15, 2016
The long-awaited project will provide a huge boost to tourism and marine industries in the West Cork town. BAM Civil Ltd wasappointed main contractor for phase one of the the inner harbour development. It involves the creation of a 20-berth marina on quayside pontoons, plus dredging to a depth of 4m, which will allow vessels access the inner harbour in all tidal conditions. The main pier is to be widened and extended while a 4,000sq m public recreational amenity will be created from reclaiming land adjacent to the railway pier, also in the inner harbour. In addition, further land reclamation of 2,300sq m will be used to build a new car park in the area. It marks the start of a regeneration project, in keeping with the total Inner Harbour Development Scheme developed in 2012 by the former Bantry Bay Harbour Commissioners.
Funding for the scheme has come from both the Department of Transport and the Port of Cork, with the latter replacing the abolished harbour commissioners in Bantry. Funding set aside for the former harbour body will be used for the development. Along with providing a more sheltered harbour environment and marina with increased water depth, the development will also see the pier facilities improved and a new quayside area which will support and promote fishing and tourism activities in the Bantry area. Construction is expected to commence towards the end of this month, or early March at the latest and it is hoped the project will be completed by autumn 2017.
Banty Bay Port Company and Port of Cork chairman John Mullins said BAM civil is the largest civil engineering and public works contractor in Ireland and Bantry Bay Port Company was excited to be working with it on the new inner harbour development. Port of Cork chief executive Brendan Keating said the joint investment would bring major benefits to the area. “We anticipate this development will provide a critical kick-start for the marine leisure industry,” he said.
Once complete the Bantry Inner Harbour Development will ensure vessels no longer lie aground when beside the pier. The quayside reclamation area will provide an increased foot print for marine related activities, making the pier safer environment for all users. The new twenty berth marina will provide improved berthage for local and visiting yachts to safely moor and access the town centre. Dredging will be carried out on the existing pier and new marina facilities, allowing access at all stages of the tide.