Cowes Harbour Commission (CHC) has awarded Boskalis Westminster a £7m contract for the construction of a new detached breakwater.
Construction of the new breakwater for Cowes on the Isle of Wight will be carried out in two phases. The first phase, creating the core structure of the breakwater, starts in April.
This initial construction phase will continue through the summer and will then be followed by a consolidation period to allow for settlement of the breakwater structure during the autumn through to spring 2015.
Boskalis Westminster will then return to Cowes to re-dress the core structure and complete the construction of the breakwater during the summer of 2015.
The project is a joint initiative between CHC and the Homes & Communities Agency (HCA), with co-operation from the Crown Estate. Consulting engineer Atkins is project manager for the Cowes Harbour Commission.
Construction of the 350m-long breakwater is the first phase of transforming Cowes into a ‘true sheltered harbour’, CHC said, and creates a variety of development and business opportunities.
The second phase is the extension to the Shrape breakwater and the dredging of the new Eastern Channel, which will be brought forward as part of the HCA’s proposed new marina at East Cowes.
Harbour master Captain Stuart McIntosh said: “The Cowes breakwater project is CHC’s main priority, because not only does it offer great opportunities for harbour users, but it will enable economic development to follow, to the benefit of the local community. We have already seen this with the HCA tendering for a partner to develop and operate a new marina and associated waterfront regeneration in East Cowes.”