St. Anthony Harbour is one step closer to welcoming more tourists and developing greater shipping opportunities.
After a year of dredging, the equipment is all packed away and the St. Anthony Port Authority is waiting on final inspections of the harbour rock.
The dredging of the harbour rock will allow bigger vessels, including cruise ships and EIMSKIP container vessels, to enter St. Anthony Harbour.
In the process, the Town of St. Anthony and the port authority are hoping it will increase tourism and expand the harbour’s role as an international shipping port.
The contractor, B&R Enterprises, started work last year and concluded earlier this summer.
Port authority chair Ernest Simms says the project took longer than initially projected because the rock was harder than anticipated.
“They assumed it would be mostly shale, soft rock, that wouldn’t take long to do,” he told The Northern Pen. “But they ran into some hard rock and the drilling took longer to get down through.”
He was unsure of how much rock was removed.
The port authority is awaiting a diving team to come in and inspect what’s left.
The contractor will be contacted to come back and finish the job if the divers conclude that more rock needs to be removed.
The harbour requires a minimum depth of nine-metres all the way across.
Simms believes there are some points remaining that are probably less than that.
“There are some high points there apparently,” he said.
After that work is finished, the two buoys marking the harbour rock will also have to be moved accordingly by the Canadian Coast Guard.
“They’ll be back to identify if a buoy is necessary and where it’s supposed to go,” said Simms.
Then a new chart of the harbour will have to be developed by a federal department to account for the increased depths.
The contract for the work cost a total of $1.5 million. The St. Anthony Port Authority, the Town of St. Anthony and St. Anthony Basin Resources Inc. contributed $150,000. The federal and provincial governments funded the remainder of the project cost.