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City positioned to undertake infrastructure works

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Ambitious work: the Corporation of Hamilton has launched several infrastructure works, including reinforcing the ceiling of City Hall’s foyer, which required the lowering the giant chandelier (Photograph by Akil Simmons)

The “pieces and puzzles” are in place for the Corporation of Hamilton to undertake major infrastructure works, Dwayne Caines, the organisation’s chief executive said yesterday.

Over the past several weeks, the corporation started works on several major projects while others are in the planning stages.

At a press conference at City Hall, Mr Caines said: “We put in for a lot of this work over a year and a half ago. You have to have the finances in place. The vendors must get the product to you, everyone understands that we have supply chain issues.”

He added: “You have to get the supplies on island. Once you get the supplies on island, you have to get the contractors that are qualified and able to do so.”

Mr Caines said several factors determined the timelines for the projects.

Pieces and puzzles: Dwayne Caines, chief executive officer of the Corporation of Hamilton, and other officials provided an update on upcoming works and improvements to the city at a press conference yesterday (Photograph by Blaire Simmons)

“There are a number of variables that requires things to be done right. It requires a certain timeline and so now we have just got all the pieces to the puzzle and we are starting now because it is the appropriate time.”

He said City Hall has an asset management system “and what we do is review the strength and weaknesses of our city assets”.

He said teams from City Hall would monitor those assets “and then they assess what are the short-term fixes and what are long-term fixes on this process”.

Mr Caines said in managing the city, there are things which can be fixed “on the go” and others which “you need to stop and make significant replacements on”.

He said: “What we recognise is that we are at a point with our infrastructure, that there are significant changes that need to be made that keeps us at the top of the curve. We also recognise that there is going to be inconvenience. There is no way around it.”

This month, works started on the replacement of a 100-year-old sewerage line on Bermudiana Road while the ceiling at City Hall is being renovated to remedy structural issues which were identified earlier this year.

Renovation works are currently ongoing at Fort Hamilton which entails enhancement of the site and its amenities.

At the press conference, chief city engineer, Patrick Cooper provided an update on the project. He said significant artefacts were collected at the site by an archaeologist and he noted that additional works will commence shortly, pending the necessary permits.

Earlier this year, the corporation undertook works to upgrade Hamilton’s waste water infrastructure to prevent the discharge of solids into the ocean.

Mr Cooper said: “The implementation of two fine-mesh screening machines at the Front Street Waste water Treatment Plant will significantly reduce the amount of suspended solids entering the ocean, contributing to a cleaner and healthier environment for all, by will removing a significant percentage of suspended solids from the City’s waste water.”

Looking ahead, the Corporation will from May 4 undertake works at Spurling Hill, which entails the replacement of the traffic light system at the junction. The works will continue for approximately five to six weeks.

Mr Cooper said “while this will cause some disruption for commuters, we are working hard to minimise any inconvenience”.

He said the Cavendish car park and local vendors in the area will remain accessible at all times.

The Corporation is currently combing through feedback it received following a consultation process on major works, scheduled for 2025, at the Queen Street and Church Street junction in Hamilton.

Mr Cooper said: “The proposed changes aim to improve traffic flow, enhance pedestrian safety, and upgrade the overall public experience of Hamilton. These four traffic lights will work in concert allowing for a better traffic experience.”

Following the consultation process, Mr Cooper said initial feedback suggests that “most people were very supportive of the design of the project”.

However, he said “one concern that cropped up the most was congestion at the top of Queen Street”.

He said another round of traffic counts will be done at the junction to “quantitatively figure out what is going to happen with the new system”.

Mr Cooper said initial studies indicated that there will be “a little bit more congestion at the junction”.

However, he said with the new traffic lights working in tandem with other lights at nearby blocks, “the actual trip time through this whole section is actually going to reduce by a third”.

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Published April 10, 2024 at 7:50 am (Updated April 10, 2024 at 7:43 am)

City positioned to undertake infrastructure works

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