Horta’s Port Extension

Work on Horta’s port extension started this summer and we got to see some of it while we were there. At the present the port looks like this:

Port of Horta in 2009

Port of Horta in 2009

Horta’s historical port is 120 years old and undergoing a big change by adding a new 393m L-shaped wall at the northern part of the city (right around the end of the houses/where the green area starts). This construction will complement the existing outer quay in handling the increasing number of cruise ships visiting the island during the spring and summer as well as the regular inter-island ferries.

This extension will provide 316 m of extra docking space as well as a second wall on the inside with a 100 m quay for smaller passenger ferries. The cost of this construction is estimated at 35.5 million euros.

The island is getting ready for more visitors as they are also planning a new passenger terminal and planning 20,000 qm for esplanade, parking, and gardens. The entrance to the new quay will be situated right next to the courthouse. Of course, all surrounding areas will also get a face lift, including a new access road and traffic circle.

Currently the depth of the water on this side of town is 8 meters and it needs to be dredged to a minimum of 11 meters. It takes 33 companies to do this job in 36 months and disruptions of business and traffic are expected during this time.

We passed the construction every day, watching a big crane moving its head up and down. I suppose Faial is expecting an influx in tourism versus the exodus they experienced in 1958.

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