River works to add jobs
A £2.8m contract to dredge the River Lagan will create 28 jobs and help the economic regeneration of the riverside, according to Social Development Minister Alex Attwood.
The dredging of the river bed will also keep the “smell of a bygone era” at bay.
Mr Attwood says the work will begin this month with local firm Graham Construction landing the contract.
“This is a significant boost for river users and local residents,” said the Minister. “This latest investment follows on the back of the successful refurbishment of the Lagan Weir and represents DSD’s continuing commitment to the River Lagan.
“The economic benefits of the regeneration of the Lagan have been well documented and they have been a part of the catalyst for hundreds of millions of pounds of development and regeneration along its banks.
“It is estimated that this project will give full time employment to 28 people and as the work will be carried out by a local contractor it is hoped it will give a boost to the NI construction sector.
“The timing of the dredge is opportune as it is hoped the river’s water quality will also benefit from the end of the Belfast Sewer Project recently completed by NI Water and this combined with the removal of organic silt will further improve the quality of the river.”
The last dredging on the river took place in 1994. The work involves thousands of tonnes of silt being removed by diggers and disposed off at an approved location out at sea.
The river will be initially closed for navigation, for safety reasons during the period of the contract.
However, after consultation with river users, the works will be completed on a sectional basis with the first section being handed over to river users after six weeks. More details and updates on navigation arrangements, river closures and a noise pollution hotline will be posted on the DSD website on an ongoing basis.