Madam Speaker, the physical landscape of Wickham’s Cay 1, is being transformed in a very significant way right before our very eyes, with the construction of the expanded Cruise Ship Pier and Landside Development.
By the end of this year, 2015, Madam Speaker, every Virgin Islander and visitor to these islands, will be extremely proud, of what the Government has been able to accomplish with this project.
Madam Speaker, work is continuing steadily, to expand, widen and strengthen the existing dock and to develop the landside infrastructure, to include a Welcome Centre, Immigration and Customs Offices, restaurants and shopping facilities.
Work is also being done to dredge the turn basins, to accommodate larger vessels.
Madam Speaker, in February, during the last Sitting of this Honourable House, I provided an update on the project and I am pleased to present a further update today, as work continues.
On the marine side of the project, Madam Speaker, the contractor intends to complete the north east side of the pier by this weekend, 14th March and the south west side by 12th April 2015.
Dredging on the north east side has been completed and the contractor has started dredging of the high spots in the channel.
Madam Speaker, to speed up the dredging operations, the contractor has commissioned a second barge, which is working on the dredging works on the south west side of the pier.
All of the precast elements will be in place within the next week and the contractor is concentrating on pouring the topping slab at the pier extension and then back to the southwestern side of the pier.
Madam Speaker, the progress on site is very evident, as all of the bollards and fenders are now in place, on the north east side of the pier.
This week, the piles for the additional bollards are arriving on site and these will be driven within the next three (3) weeks.
The sheet piling for the boardwalk is far advanced and the filling of the revetment will be ongoing, as dredge material is harvested.
Overall, Madam Speaker, by the end of this month, March 2015, we will be able to berth a ship on one side of the pier and by the end of April 2015, both sides of the pier will be available for berthing.
Madam Speaker, on the landside, we have executed contracts for the substructure works, Building #1, Buildings #2 and #3, Building #6, two civil works contracts and the softscape landscape contract.
The substructure works are now completed and the contractor has demobilized.
Madam Speaker, we will be receiving the remaining Bills of Quantities from BCQS this week for the remaining buildings and then decisions would be made on the contractors for those buildings, in short order.
Madam Speaker, four buildings are well on the way to completion on this project.
Building #1 is in its finishing stages, where roofing, doors and windows and the final MEP or mechanical, electrical and plumbing installations are taking place. We expect to have this building, which is the Welcome Centre, to be completed by the end of this month.
Madam Speaker, we started vertical work on Buildings #2 and #3 in February and these works are moving very quickly.
The contractor has poured the ring beams on both buildings and has started to install the upper slab material on Building #3.
These are the main retail buildings and these will be completed by mid-June 2015.
Madam Speaker, Building #6, which will house the main rest rooms and the offices for Tortola Port Partners Limited, is now on the second and final level of construction.
The contractor is working to complete this building by the end of April 2015.
As it relates to civil works, Madam Speaker, at least 90% of the water and drainage lines have already been installed throughout the site and the electrical and communication lines are about 40% completed, to date.
Madam Speaker, as you can imagine, on a site where there are multiple contractors and disciplines, the main objective, is to ensure that the works are properly coordinated and executed as per the specifications, so great emphasis is being placed on project management.
As Minister for Communications and Works, I must say that I am very pleased with the progress of this major infrastructural project.
I wish to commend the BVI Ports Authority and all of the contractors for their diligence and commitment so far and we expect to see this project through to completion, in the next few months.
Thank you Madam Speaker.