The first phase of repairs to Ardrishaig Pier on the Crinan Canal have been completed following a partial collapse of the structure earlier this year.
The initial stage of the project saw the damaged section of the pier, which sits at the mouth of Loch Gilp and the Crinan Canal, secured and reinforced in order to reopen it for restricted freight use. The pier is a key asset for timber hauliers in the region, with around 30,000 tonnes of freight passing through the harbour each year.
Following the initial repairs, the next phase of the project will see Scottish Canals work with stakeholders and designers to undertake an upgrade of the pier, restoring it to full operation and widening and lengthening it to accommodate larger vessels and increase its capacity. The works are anticipated to begin in early 2018.
Construction on the pier first began in 1800, with alterations carried out between 1817 and 1837 under the direction of the pre-eminent Scottish engineer Thomas Telford. The harbour pier was again extended in the mid-19th century to berth the Clyde steamers that transferred passengers onto the Crinan Canal. Tickets for the steamers were purchased in the former terminal building on Pier Square – now the Yot Spot chandlery. In recent years, the pier has become one of Scotland’s main timber ports.
Richard Millar, Director of Infrastructure at Scottish Canals, said: “Ardrishaig Pier plays a vital role in the economy of the local area and since the structure’s closure we’ve been working to come up with a solution that will bring the pier back into use and restore the important timber operations of the area.
“We’ve now reopened the pier to restricted freight use and are actively looking into how we can safeguard and improve one of the Crinan’s most important structures, ensuring the pier is cared for into the next century and beyond. We’d like to thank the local community and hauliers for their patience and understanding during the pier’s closure.”