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PM opens $4.8 million seawall project in Smith's Point

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Prime Minister Dr Hubert Minnis.

By DENISE MAYCOCK

Tribune Freeport Reporter

dmaycock@tribunemedia.net

A new $4.8 million seawall and road repaving project in Smith’s Point was officially opened by Prime Minister Dr Hubert Minnis on Friday, after a long delay due to construction and storm challenges that set completion of the project back almost two years.

The seawall, which spans over 1,900-ft in length equipped with galvanised rails, ends many years of coastal erosion in the quaint seaside community of Smith’s Point, which is well-known for its weekly Fish Fry.

In addition, a ramp for the disabled and steps were installed to provide access to the beach. Road repaving works, and land clearing for parking in the area were also a part of the project.

Dr Minnis stated that his government is committed to investing in sound infrastructure which not only safeguards communities and settlements, but which also supports economic growth.

In June 2016, a contract for the seawall construction was signed by the former Christie government with Smith’s Construction in the amount of $4,825,839.35, with a completion period of 26 weeks for a projected completion date of February 24, 2017.

With only 33 percent of the project completed in early May 2017, the new Minnis administration terminated the initial contraction with Smith’s Construction on June 8, 2017 following construction errors and a failure to meet project deadlines.

Dr Minnis explained that the decision was taken by the Ministry of Works to protect the community and the Government’s interests.

“The contract termination created a sense of urgency to complete the works due to the imminent onset of the hurricane season,” he said.

“Waugh Construction (Bahamas) Limited, a local company, was a part of the original tender exercise. It possessed the logistical expertise to facilitate the project, and was subsequently contracted,” Dr Minnis said.

He noted that in August 2017, a contract was signed for $4.8 million, which included works for a seaward quay wall that would prevent further coastal erosion and run-off, and that would add to the ambiance and safety of the area.

According to the Prime Minister, Waugh’s assignment to the project resulted in a further 200 ft being added to the eastern end of the original 1,700ft length reinforced concrete, bringing the total length to approximately 1,900 feet.

The realignment at the eastern end to allow for parking for visitors to the beach area was also carried out, and safety issues were addressed, inclusive of a ramp for people with disabilities at the western area, and additional steps for ease of access by the public.

Additionally, the prime minister said that 1,555 linear feet of galvanised railing were erected to the top of the wall as part of the safety and aesthetics of the project. He said that complementary roadworks were also carried out which involved a 20-foot-wide roadway, spanning the length of the project, complete with safety signage, speed control measures, including speed humps, new street lighting, stripping and proper drainage. And an eight foot wide sidewalk was also constructed.

“The design of the seawall should lessen the vulnerability of hurricanes in this community. Sea-surges, flooding, structural and other water-based damage have proven to be commonplace in this area,” he said.

“This seawall has passed the two litmus tests of its structural integrity and sustainability having gone through Hurricanes Matthew and Irma during the construction period.”

The project has also created business and employment opportunities, Dr Minnis said.

Deputy Prime Minister Peter Turnquest, MP for East Grand Bahama, said that he and resident Clifford Edden had initially and consistently agitated the PLP government for a seawall in the Smith’s Point community.

He commended former Minister of Works and DPM Philip ‘Brave’ Davis, former Minister for Grand Bahama Dr Michael Darville, and former Prime Minister Perry Christie for acceding their request for a seawall.

Dr Minnis also commended Minister of Works Desmond Bannister (who was unable to attend due to a family illness) for his exemplary and astute leadership in seeing this project to completion, and Waugh Construction for the excellent work.

Mr Turnquest said that seawall will help to attract economic opportunity to Smith Point. Many of the residents of Smith’s Point operate small food and beverage businesses in the community. The MP for East Grand Bahama added that there is enough business for all residents to be employed, and hopes to see added businesses from artisans and handicrafts makers in the future.

Comments

John 5 years, 2 months ago

Hey boy gat dat 😂🤡⁉️

Well_mudda_take_sic 5 years, 2 months ago

And it will all have to be re-built and re-paved again after the next CAT 4 or 5 hurricane blows through the area. Our dimwitted Minnis-led FNM government refuses to accept that certain areas must now be declared 'no building zones'. Meanwhile our public healthcare system and public education system throughout the country has all but collapsed.

Will the repaving of the road be sub-contracted out to Bahamas? LMAO

Well_mudda_take_sic 5 years, 2 months ago

"Bahamas" above should be "Bahamamix"

TheMadHatter 5 years, 2 months ago

Im sure the 4.8 was shown clearly in the most recent budget - LOL. A ship without a steering wheel.

Well_mudda_take_sic 5 years, 2 months ago

And a ship with a captain who by his own admission never knows whether he's headed east or west. LMAO

TalRussell 5 years, 2 months ago

Yes, yes it is, if not for tweaking left behind PM Christie's projects - the comrade prime minister, and members his Imperial red shirts cabinet, would not have had a single project to take to finish completion, yes, no?

DJBarr 5 years, 2 months ago

The article says this was first contracted with the previous administration.

Was the contract given to a crony contractor who couldn't complete the project?

Thank goodness it was turned over to a local GB company with lots of experience.

I suspect that it was built to higher standard than required.

DJBarr

John 5 years, 2 months ago

At least Minnis seems to be getting projects started and completed. 100 incomplete projects are not worth one completed one. And hopefully, the building next to the Paul Adderley Building on JFK will be completed and occupied soon. Need to make examples of persons who take government contracts and taxpayer money and do not deliver or do not complete their projects.

TalRussell 5 years, 2 months ago

No, no it is not how Imperialism shirts promised get things done at the new Post Office in 'landlord Imperial red regime" comrade Brent's building which was guaranteed be up and operating back January 2019, yes, no?

bogart 5 years, 2 months ago

Good project done by current contactor. BUT.....da stewardship of we da people pore taxpayers.....having we taxes....paying for dis project previous cancelled....needs to be publicished what was with da public taxpayers money....damages..???costs..???penalties...??....who involved...??????....NON FESEANCE....??......MIS FESEANCE....??......MAL FESEANCE....???.....is da public officials goin ta be detailing da last failure...?? ....tax payers money stewardship..previous...delays....????....MR Terrance Bastian needs to look into previous works wid public taxpayers money !!!!!!!!!!!

scampi75 5 years, 2 months ago

Perhaps those upstairs need to look past "lowest bid" and look at what the bidder is capable of! All the negative comments never seem to amaze me. What I'm hearing is "it doesn't matter if it's good for the country, if it wasn't done by a PLPer, it ain't no good"! Boy, da black crab strong hey?

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