New structure at Oban Ferry Terminal for Caledonian Maritime Assets
Following off-site fabrication, the 25m long x 80t replacement linkspan structure’s journey progressed to the quayside at Westway on the River Cart in Renfrew where it was uplifted by MV Lara 1 (formerly the Mersey Mammoth) – one of the largest crane-ships in Europe.
Operating within a tight 2-hour high spring tide window, MV Lara 1’s journey in and out of the River Cart also involved the double opening of Sir William Arrol’s iconic Inchinnan Bascule Bridge.
After an overnight stay in Rothesay Dock across the river in Clydebank, MV Lara 1 continued her journey down the Clyde under pilot, before heading out into the Firth, rounding the Mull of Kintyre then onwards up the west coast to Oban.
The busy west coast port of Oban is the base for the lifeline ferry services to the nearby islands of Mull, Lismore and Colonsay as well as the Hebridean islands of Coll, Tiree and Barra and is the home port for many of the ferries of the Calmac fleet, including Clansman, Lord of the Isles, Isle of Mull, Coruisk and Lismore.
The on-site installation work at Oban is being undertaken during a critical 4-week closure of the No 1 Berth when all roll-on, roll-off ferry traffic is being accommodated on Berth No 2, which was itself constructed by George Leslie Ltd in two phases between 2006 & 2008, and this has involved careful rescheduling of the winter timetables by Calmac to maintain ferry service connectivity with the islands.
The long sea journey from the River Cart, via the Clyde to Oban was completed just in time to allow MV Lara 1 to lift the structure into position a matter of hours before the arrival of Storm Erik which battered the west coast of Scotland.