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South Basin: reclamation phase on track

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Laying foundations: the first of seven boatloads of ground granite being dumped into the South Basin as part of the America’s Cup Village development in Dockyard(Photograph by David Skinner)

The land reclamation phase of the America’s Cup Village project in Dockyard is on schedule to be completed in June 2016.

Six of the seven shiploads of granite fill as well as the material dredged from the North Channel have now been deposited in the South Basin to create the foundations for the village.

The bulk carrier Balder was due to arrive in the West End yesterday to deliver the final shipment of aggregate. However, the poor weather put her arrival back and she is now expected in the South Basin at the weekend.

Andrew Dias, the general manager of the West End Development Corporation (Wedco), told The Royal Gazette that despite a few “bumps in the road” good progress was being made.

“The sea piles that help to hold the raised area of land in place should be here in mid-January,” he said.

“We have had a few bumps in the road along the way, but it has all gone relatively smoothly so far.

“It’s still extremely busy on site at the moment, although not as busy as when the fill from the dredging operation was also being put in the South Basin.” About nine acres of land will be reclaimed inside the south-eastern corner of the existing breakwater, creating a gravel-surfaced island where the America’s Cup Village will be built.

The original plans then made provision for a boatyard with multiple dry storage racks, two parking areas, a marina office building, and a new Marine and Ports headquarters to be built.

The area was also expected to include a dock specifically for tugs and ferries. The northern side of the breakwater was to house a marina with 68 berths.

However, a recent ruling by the Supreme Court has thrown into question what the “end uses” of the new development and what its infrastructure will be after the 2017 America’s Cup.

Mr Dias said that he hoped the land reclamation phase of the South Basin project would be completed within five months.

“Within the next couple of weeks we will be building two new team bases of the five that we are required to build under our America’s Cup obligations,” he added.

“By the end of January we are hoping that the new road down to Moresby Plains — which is part of the America’s Cup infrastructure too — will be completed. It will be quite an addition to the area.”

Work continues at the South Basin in Dockyard as land fill is used to create the new Louis Vuitton America’s Cup village(Photograph by David Skinner)