New tenders to be invited for Walls Pier work amid pleas for ‘proven’ contractors

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New tenders will be sought from next month to secure a new contractor to complete the £2.5 million Walls Pier in an attempt to clear up the mess left by previous contractor Airport Civil Engineering, which last year ran into problems and ceased work.

It is hoped work on the project will start again in April, with the new pier finally being completed by the end of the year. Harbour board members were given an update at their meeting in the town hall this afternoon.

However West Side councillor Frank Robertson said steps should be taken to prevent a repeat of last year’s debacle.

“We’re disappointed about the situation we find ourselves in but the report by capital services indicates our only option is for retendering the works.

“I’d make a plea that only contractors with a proven track record should be allowed to tender.”

Businessman Jim Tait, who sits on the harbour board, said the procurement process was not sufficient. And he said some of the old pier piles had been undermined during work which has gone on before.

The board also heard concerns the pier, which was not in the best of conditions before the work started, could require structural engineering work to make safe.

Mr Robertson said he had heard concerns from a mussel farmer, who was worried the structure may have weight restrictions imposed just as all the mussels harvested for this year are due to come across the pier in the next couple of months.

Head of ports and harbours Captain Roger Moore said he would arrange for necessary inspections to be made on the structure.

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About Ryan Taylor

Ryan Taylor has worked as a reporter since 1995, and has been at The Shetland Times since 2007, covering a wide variety of news topics. Before then he reported for other newspapers in the Highlands, where he was raised, and in Fife, where he began his career with DC Thomson. He also has experience in broadcast journalism with Grampian Television. He has lived in Shetland since 2002, where he harbours an unhealthy interest in old cars and motorbikes.

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