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Burgess: Historic wreck may have been moved at Heritage Wharf

A historic wreck may have been moved to allow work at Heritage Wharf, according to Shadow Public Works Minister Derrick Burgess.

Mr Burgess said yesterday: “It has come to my attention that a historic wreck has been removed from the ocean to facilitate the project.

“Hopefully Mr Moniz can confirm to us whether this is in fact true and if the removal was in accordance with the Historic Wrecks Act 2001.”

The question was one of several posed by the Shadow Minister yesterday regarding the West End project.

Heritage Wharf was completed in 2009 at a final cost of $60 million — 70 percent more than the original quote of $35 million.

The project sparked further controversy when it was revealed that upgrades necessary to service larger cruise ships like the Norwegian Breakaway — scheduled to visit the port next month — would cost another $22 million.

Mr Moniz has said it is still believed work will be completed by the May 15 deadline, but the Progressive Labour Party has continued to challenge how the project is being handled.

Mr Burgess yesterday listed a raft of concerns about the project, including the process of selecting companies involved in the project, the use of ungalvanised rebar and the lack of a cost breakdown.

He also said that while Mr Moniz has said 75 percent of the workers employed for the project would be Bermudian, the Minister had not stated how many Bermudians would be hired.

“I have noted that the Minister has stated that ‘Bermudian labour is present employed at both the Heritage Wharf site and the South Basin site’, but it is my information that there are only migrant workers on the Heritage Wharf site at present,” Mr Burgess said.

The Shadow Minister also claimed Public Works Minister Trevor Moniz has been “unprofessional” in response to the many queries that he has put forward.

“It is obvious that the Minister has forgotten the role of the Opposition, which is to hold the Government to account on behalf of the people of Bermuda,” Mr Burgess said.

A Ministry of Public Works spokesman have yet to respond to the questions posed by Mr Burgess, however the Ministry previously spoke on the issue of ungalvanised rebar on the project.

At that time, the Ministry said the practice is common in other jurisdictions as there are other means to prevent corrosion.

Based on the advice of a fully qualified corrosion specialist, the Ministry determined that using galvanised reinforcement would have “little or no benefit” in the Heritage Wharf project as the epoxy coating and concrete used would protect the steel among other measures.

A “cathodic protection system” could also be fitted at the site to protect both the new work and the existing dock structure.

Shadow Public Works Minister Derrick Burgess

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Published April 17, 2013 at 9:00 am (Updated April 17, 2013 at 12:38 am)

Burgess: Historic wreck may have been moved at Heritage Wharf

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