Statement By Minister For Communications And Works Honourable Mark Vanterpool
At Third Sitting Of The Forth Session Of
The Second House Of Assembly On Cruise Pier Project Update
Thursday, February 12, 2015
Madam Speaker, members of the public would have noticed a flurry of activity taking place at the cruise ship dock area on Wickham’s Cay in Road Town, since the middle of last year, 2014.
This major infrastructural project, being undertaken by our Government, will see the existing cruise pier being widened, strengthened and lengthened, and the landside is being developed, to include a Terminal and Welcome facility, restaurants, shops and other amenities.
The objective here Madam Speaker, is to create a world class experience for our visitors, in an effort to ensure that the Virgin Islands remains globally competitive as a tourist destination.
I am pleased to report to this Honourable House, that this project is progressing well and despite some delays, we now expect the marine side to be completed by the end of April this year and the entire project by the end of the year.
Madam Speaker, the marine contractor is now undertaking the mechanical or hard dredging, using a clamshell bucket attached to a crane.
This is expected to be ongoing for the next couple of months, on the north east side of the pier, then out into the turning basin and then finally on the south west side of the pier.
The north east side of the pier extension is nearing completion, Madam Speaker.
All of the precast elements are in place and the contractor is starting to place bollards and fenders on this side as well.
The precast elements on the lengthening of the pier are being placed and by the end of February, this aspect of the works should be completed.
Three additional mooring dolphins are being installed and this phase is far advanced, with two of the three now completely poured and the third expected to be poured by February 15th.
Madam Speaker, the piling works on the pier itself are expected to be completed by February 15th, except for four additional mooring bollards, which will be installed within the next two months.
Based on the current schedule, we expect that one side of the pier could be completed by mid-March and both sides by the end of April 2015.
On the landside development, Madam Speaker: We have already executed contracts for the substructure works; for Buildings one, two, three and six; two civil works contracts and the softscape landscape contract.
Within the next month, we expect to issue contracts for Buildings four, seven and thirteen, along with the hardscape works and shortly thereafter, we will be rolling out contracts for the smaller buildings and ancillary works.
Madam Speaker, as far as the physical works are concerned, we are just about to erect the roof on Building number one, which is The Welcome Centre, and we are expecting that this building will be completed by the end of March 2015.
Building number six, which houses the main bathroom facilities, is expected to be completed by mid-April 2015, while Buildings two and three - which will house the main retail anchor tenants - have started, with the main sides of the 1st floor having been erected over the past two weeks.
This contractor expects to complete these works by the middle of June 2015, Madam Speaker.
Once the vertical works begin on Buildings four, seven and thirteen within the next few weeks, we anticipate the completion of those buildings by the middle of summer 2015.
In the meantime, Madam Speaker, the civil works contractors have been mobilized since December 2014 and they are very much advanced, in laying a significant amount of drainage pipes and water supply lines, throughout the site.
The works on the site are progressing rapidly and based on the current production by the contractors and barring no unforeseen incidents, we are on target to be completing the works on this project by the end of this year, 2015.
Madam Speaker, our Government looks forward to the completion of this major infrastructural project to our port.
Plans are well underway to host the Norwegian Cruise Line Breakaway Ship on April 29th with 4,000 passengers and approximately 1200 crew.
I wish to commend the BVI Ports Authority; the Managing Director and his team; and the contractors for all their diligence in the completion of this important project.
Thank you very much Madam Speaker.