WORK has started on the new £5m pontoon for the Gosport ferry.
The construction is being built in Holland and will be shipped over in April.
And in Gosport, contractors will soon begin driving large pillars into the seabed to support the new structure.
The seabed near the existing pontoon is now being swept for objects which could interfere with the pillars, including rocks and unexploded wartime bombs.
A barge will bring the new pontoon across from Holland next month.
It will be floated off the barge and into position over four days when there is a period of clear weather.
Passengers will have to catch the ferry from Endeavour Quay, in nearby Mumby Road, while the new pontoon is installed.
David Martin, the lead project officer for Gosport Borough Council, said: ‘The new pontoon is much more comfortable for people.
‘The current one is constructed in three sections and, depending on the weather, you get three bits which move up and down independently.
‘It can be a bit uncomfortable. The new one will be in one piece.
‘They will have to float it down a long river and across the North Sea.’
The new glass-panelled landing stage will also be positioned at less of an incline than the current one.
It has a 60-year lease and is expected to last for longer than 60 years.
Work will begin shortly in Gosport’s Falkland Gardens to prepare for the installation of the new pontoon.
A concrete base will be added to support the tunnel connecting High Street with the landing stage.
To better align with the street, it will be moved slightly further to the north of the seafront.