A noise minimising ‘shoe’ is to be fitted to the Cowes Floating Bridge tomorrow (Wednesday) in the latest round of work to ensure the vessel is working at ‘peak performance’.
The rubber device, made by Wight Shipyard, will attach to the ramp on the West Cowes side of the floating bridge and, in conjunction with rubber matting installed earlier this month, it should further reduce noise and vibration when the bridge docks.
To undertake the fitting, the floating bridge will be out of service from 07:00 to 19:00 tomorrow. The shoe will then be tested over the coming days to gauge its effectiveness.
Council leader Councillor Dave Stewart has said:
“Work is progressing well on making sure the floating bride is the best possible service and one that is less noisy for residents living nearby.
“After the shoe is installed, it will be tested to make sure it does what it is designed to do and we look forward to receiving those results.
“We are confident that, along with the matting, this will do a great deal to lessen the noise of the bridge on the West Cowes side of the Medina.
“In addition, Wight Shipyard continues to work on designs to enable the floating bridge to be in operation in all tide conditions – the last major technical issue that needs to be overcome.
“We are sorry that the bridge will be out of service for a day while the shoe is fitted but this is a planned stop and one that will ultimately benefit local residents.”
It is said that the bridge ‘continues to work well’ and in the month of August it was in operation for 91.5% of its scheduled operating hours – although the scheduled operating hours are reduced from the normal timetable Islanders are used to.
The cost of the shoe is £8,106. The cost of the 22mm Mini Mesh matting made by Dura Composite is £3,391.