Major engineering project begins at Douglas Harbour

Alterations made to King Edward VIII Pier to better accommodate Manxman

Major engineering project begins at Douglas Harbour

Isle of Man Steam Packet Company

Manxman has been designed specifically for Douglas Harbour

By Laura Hyde |

Work has begun on an improvement project at Douglas Harbour in the Isle of Man to ‘protect critical marine infrastructure’ and accommodate Isle of Man Steam Packet Company’s newest ro-pax ferry.

Civil engineering firm McLaughlin and Harvey will upgrade the King Edward VIII Pier, which was constructed in 1938 and last underwent major works more than 25 years ago. It will install new large steel piles around the end of the pier and three 100-ton mooring bollards close to the linkspan. The fenders, which prevent a vessel from colliding with the harbour wall, will also be modified to reduce the risk of damage during Force 10 winds.

The improvements have been made necessary by the arrival of the Isle of Man Steam Packet Company’s new ro-pax ferry, Manxman. Although designed specifically for Douglas Harbour, the vessel is eight metres longer and three metres wider than its predecessor, Ben-my-Chree. The project is also part of the wider Harbour Strategy approved by the Tynwald parliament in 2018, with £6.61 million ($8.29 million) allocated as part of the 2023 budget.

“The arrival of the Manxman and its entry into service marks an exciting time in our modern maritime history,” said Alfred Cannan, chief minister of the Isle of Man. “Existing facilities are able to accommodate the vessel under benign conditions but must be updated in order to protect Manxman and its berth from very high winds. The boat’s greater size compared to the Ben-my-Chree has been noted by many since its arrival, but its substantial weight difference is a critical factor in making these changes as we head into winter. Protecting and improving our national infrastructure is key to delivering the aims of ‘Our Island Plan’ and this once-in-a-generation project will serve our community well for many years to come.”

The project, which also includes repairs to the pier wall and the placement of rock bags to protect the pier from underwater soil erosion, is scheduled for completion in early 2024.

Read more about the project on its dedicated webpage.  

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