September 19, 2020

Spotts Jetty work faces further delays

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Proposed Spotts Jetty site

Construction of the new Spotts Jetty has been delayed indefinitely, pending completion of contracts and final plans for the project. Both builders and government officials have declined to name a date
for groundbreaking.

Reversing earlier statements that pegged late July for the start of construction of the two-berth cruise-ship bad-weather dock, Premier McKeeva Bush yesterday said the project had been delayed.

“We are waiting for final contracts to be completed and some of the plans to be finalised,” he told iNews.

Meanwhile, officials at China Harbour Engineering Company (CHEC), the chief contractor for the $3 million project, said the company had not even submitted construction plans yet.

“No plans have been submitted. There are surveys we have to complete, topographical studies, research, analysis, environmental assessments.

“There are a lot of preliminary elements of the project we have begun and a lot of due processes taking place, and then we will submit plans to the Planning Department,” said Bindley Sangster, Jamaica-based business adviser to CHEC.

“There are a couple of residential areas next door [to the site] and all those people have to be served and there is a period in which they are permitted to respond,” he said.

“But just because there is no physical evidence of the project, does not mean we have not started.”

Mr Sangster did not say which processes were under way, but declined to say when groundbreaking might occur.

”I can’t say because we will not predict a date which may or may not be viable before all the research is completed,” he said.

“The timing must be such that we avoid any dislocation of the facilities, which are used in October/November, and runs through March or April.

“And we know how important every dollar of revenue is, so we are careful of any dislocations that might result in any loss of income on head-tax,” he said.

Government had earlier named the end of July to begin the three-month project, kicking off a larger CHEC construction programme encompassing chief cruise-ship berths in George Town, docking facilties at the Cayman Turtle Farm and expansion of the Owen Roberts Airport.

At the same time as work began at Spotts, the administration had also promised an announcement outlining changes to the airport, said to include expansion of the terminals and lengthening the runway between 2,000 feet and 3,000 feet.

“We have a firm of architects and a project manager we have contracted for the Spotts jetty project,” Mr Sangster said, but refused
to elaborate.

“China Harbour is determined to keep away from that approach,” he said, declining to discuss
further details.

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