Geomarine (UK) have commenced a prestigious infrastructure project on the Isle of Wight. The contract to replace and upgrade the Floating Bridge chain ferry will see a new and significantly larger ferry come in to service by Easter 2017. As a result of the new ferries greater size and to meet modern health and safety requirements for passenger handling, new car and passenger loading infrastructure is required at both the Cowes and East Cowes ends of the ferry link.
Steeped in history, the Cowes Floating Bridge is a vehicular chain ferry which crosses the tidal River Medina from East Cowes to Cowes. The first floating bridge was established in 1859 and is one of the few remaining that has not been replaced by a physical bridge. The most recent ferry was put in to service in 1975 and has been a vital traffic link, avoiding the 6 mile journey via Newport to reach the same destination.
Geomarine have been appointed by the Isle of Wight Council to completely demolish and remove the existing loading Slipways, both up to 45m in length and up to 25m wide. The Slipways will then be reconstructed using a combination of sheet piling and fibre reinforced concrete surfacing, including new footways, passenger waiting and loading facilities. The project, which started on 3rd January, will take over 12 weeks to complete.