The £1.7m contract for Moray Council is aimed at preventing landslips in Portknockie. Visitors and residents will be able to see the engineering techniques being used to stabilise the soil bank, and a daily progress update, with pictures and a project timetable.
The centre within the former harbour office in Portknockie was formally opened yesterday by councillor Ron Shepherd. “This is a vital piece of work that will provide peace of mind for residents here,” he said. “£1.7 million is a lot of money in these straitened times, but frankly there was little choice if we were to provide a permanent solution. This information centre will hopefully help to demonstrate what that money is being spent on.”
Drillers working for main contractor Morrison Construction will be driving galvanised steel pegs – some as long as 5m – into the hillside. Over 260 of the pins will retain a net to secure the hillside and significantly reduce the risk of any further landslide.
Moray Council’s senior engineer, Will Burnish, said this was the biggest project of its type the authority had undertaken. “Without this work, any further slips would mean the loss of part of the road. The scope of the project includes stabilising five landslips, improving the drainage to reduce the risk of more landslips, and creating a new road to the harbour to be used when the existing one is temporarily closed to complete the works.”
The scheme is expected to be completed by the end of July.