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Friday, 07/Mar/2008

Friday Islay Picture (50)

After a very tiring week the entry I was really looking forward to the last few days. After all the Friday Islay Picture signals the end of the working week and a chance to hopefully recharge my batteries. It is also a little bit of a jubilee: Look at the number in the title. Yes, this is the 50th picture since the Friday Islay Picture (1) entry almost exactly a year ago. And despite it being the end of the working week I'm going to show you a picture of work on Islay, the works on Port Askaig:

Picture of construction work on a small harbour on a sound between two islands

This picture shows the old Jura ferry pier/berth in Port Askaig being demolished in June 2007. The rebuilding of Port Askaig is a multi-million (or even billion?) pound project started in mid 2003, by now several times over budget and way behind schedule. For a few impressions of Port Askaig before the work began try my ‘old’ Port Askaig page.

The whole project consists out of several phases/parts:

  1. Completely rebuilding and widening the A846 down the hill while expanding the car park as well as improving the ferry queueing area was the start. Thousands of tons of rock were blasted out of the cliffs, the route of the road was redesigned, houses were demolished and rebuilt in other places. This part is complete and while I think Port Askaig has lost a little bit of its charme I admit the new area is much more convenient.
  2. Next came the rebuilding of the main pier and the new link span. This part of the project was plagued by lots of problems and delays, but was finally completed in 2007 several months behind schedule.
  3. Rebuilding of the Jura ferry pier berth and the small boat harbour came next, that's what you can see in this weeks picture. While this work was/is going on the Jura ferry uses the main link span, which caused (and still causes) all kinds of problems for the regular Calmac ferry from Kennacraig.
  4. The last step to my knowledge will be the rebuilding of the pier buildings with new ferry offices, workshops etc.

The cost and schedule overruns have received (and are still achieving) wide spread coverage: Both the Ileach and the Bruichladdich Blog feature it regularly, but it has also made it into the national news.

But now lets leave work behind and enjoy a relaxing weekend! Have a great weekend whereever you are and whatever you do!

Oh, and on to the next 50...

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