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Last Updated: Tuesday, 21 August 2007, 23:48 GMT 00:48 UK
Huge concrete box due for harbour
Construction of one of the concrete boxes. Picture courtesy of Comhairle nan Eilean Siar
The boxes were constructed at a yard in Ayrshire
The first of three massive concrete boxes for a 2.5m pier extension in the Western Isles is expected to be carried across the Minch this week.

The boxes will help extend the over-crowded 25-year-old Kallin harbour on the island of Grimsay in North Uist.

The concrete structures weigh about 750 tonnes each and have been built at the Ailsa Troon yard in Ayrshire.

Once all three are near the Grimsay harbour, they will be put together on the seabed.

The top will then be covered in concrete and bollards and lights added.

The design and process for building the extension is similar to that used for concrete-based oil platforms in the 1980s and to create the Mulberry harbour piers for the D-day landings in Normandy during World War II.

The main backers of the extension included the local council Comhairle nan Eilean Siar (Western Isles Council), the EU's Financial Instrument for Fisheries Guidance (FIFG) programme through the Scottish Executive, and HIE Innse Gall.

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