Council Chairman Questions New Plans For Quay Widening
Cllr Amanda Martin was speaking at the recent Inshore Fisheries and Conservation Authority meeting, where she questioned the quality of the materials being used and how well the project is being managed.
Earlier this year, work on the quay widening to create a turning area for vehicles was halted after the contractors discovered contaminated sediment in the area.
The extension to the end of quay has not been affected.
Kier Construction had to come up with new plans to avoid disturbing the material and Colin May from the Marine Management Organisation, which licences work around the UK coast, gave an update to members at the meeting.
Colin says the contamination at the base of the structure consists of “some seriously oily deposits” but it could be contained and would have negligible effect on the local fisheries.
He said there might also be traces of asbestos in the area although he said nobody knew where it had come from.
Colin said Kier intends to use piles inserted into the bedrock to support a concrete case, which will be backfilled with the material that was dredged from the end of the quay and is currently being stored at Porthloo.
He said it would be placed in non-biodegradable bags and an impermeable membrane used to prevent any leakage.
But Cllr Martin was concerned about the approach. She said the “foundations are a bit like all best laid plans. I hope it’s a good membrane.”
She said she also understood that the material at Porthloo was contaminated and couldn’t be used for the construction work.
Colin said the MMO are currently conducting scientific tests to check for this.
Amanda also raised worries over who was making sure the work was being carried out as planned.
Development Officer Diana Mompoloki said, “if something goes pear-shaped it will be down to Cornwall Council” who are managing the project.
But Amanda replied that, “unfortunately they don’t actually live and work here to put up with the outcome.”
In a statement, Cornwall Council says they have appointed Mace to project manage and oversee the construction contract in place with Kier.
They said Mace has experienced staff managing the works on site and this will continue with the quay-widening project.
There’s a process of sign off for all aspects of the design, accompanied by regular quality checks from the Project Supervisor.
Cornwall say this ensures that the works are compliant and of the appropriate quality.
And they add that Mace will have a presence on the Island throughout the entire build process.