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Engineers work round the clock to get Heritage Wharf ready

Engineers are now working into the night in the rush to get upgrades to Heritage Wharf completed by next month.

Construction work on the $22 million project — needed to enable the wharf to handle larger cruise ships heading here this summer — hit a setback when a crane was damaged by a passing boat. The crane was put out of commission for a week earlier this month following the accident, which also caused “superficial” damage to the dock.

Welding work has been going on into the night to speed up production and Public Works Minister Trevor Moniz has revealed that staff were still on the job beyond midnight on some occasions.

Last night Mr Moniz said that, although the incident had caused delays to the completion of piling on the southern breasting dolphin, work on the main dock was still on schedule and should be complete when the Norwegian

Breakaway cruise ship makes its maiden voyage to Bermuda in mid-May. Dolphins are stand-alone structures, not connected to the shore, which are used to tie up ships.

“The Ministry had hopes of completing this stage ahead of schedule, but ultimately the need for crane repairs made this impossible as workers have been sharing one crane and one barge between both dolphins currently under construction,” Mr Moniz said.

Spare parts had to be flown in to fix the crane, but bad weather then hampered the repair work.

“The repairs were completed last Monday at midday and the weld was tested,” Mr Moniz said.

“ We then had a frustrating 48-hour wait that was required under the repair procedure prior to retesting the weld and finally we were up and running again on Thursday afternoon, a week to the hour from the original incident.”

Mr Moniz added that construction procedures had been “reorganised” to minimise the impact of the setback, but that “the incident has caused some delay to construction”.

“We will intensify our efforts over the coming week in an attempt to make up for lost time,” he said.

“This will be to the detriment of the mooring dolphins but these are not critical structures for the arrival of the Norwegian

Breakaway and so this is the direction we must take.”

Mr Moniz also said that initial phases of the pile test in the ground transportation area had now been completed and that fresh tests to establish soil strength were “promising”.

“It will be a few days yet before the results are fully analysed but we are hopeful that we will not have to weld additional extensions on the piles and drive them deeper still or look to alternative measures to strengthen the foundations,” he said.

Progress is also being made on the prefabrication area in the South Basin of Dockyard. Work has been completed on two precast beams weighing 30 tonnes each and have prefabricated reinforcement cages for 36 piles.

“Meanwhile work has started on prefabrication of reinforcement mats for the concrete decks that are cast on top of the piles for the ship to rest up against. All of the works being carried out at the same time as the piling saves time in construction once the piling crews have moved on,” Mr Moniz said.

Mr Moniz said that work was also underway to improve visitor information at the wharf’s arrivals hall and streamline pedestrian flow through Dockyard.

“While all works may not be complete, we remain confident that the dock will be prepared to receive its first ship on May 15,” he said.

Bolstering the pier: A construction crew works on improvements to Heritage Wharf in Dockyard in this file photo taken in March

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Published April 22, 2013 at 9:00 am (Updated April 21, 2013 at 11:11 pm)

Engineers work round the clock to get Heritage Wharf ready

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