Revamp: Tourists walk along King’s Wharf, which could be in line for an upgrade. *File photo
Revamp: Tourists walk along King’s Wharf, which could be in line for an upgrade. *File photo

Construction work to upgrade King’s Wharf in Dockyard could begin before the end of the year.

The Ministry of Public Works told the Bermuda Sun it will develop designs for upgrading the second Dockyard berth to take ships the same size as the Norwegian Breakaway.

A spokesperson said that the Ministry expects improvements will need to be made to the wharf frontage.

And it also anticipates upgrades will need to be made to the two dolphin structures to accommodate larger fenders and additional mooring bollards.

The news comes while a multi-million dollar repair project on the second Dockyard berth, Heritage Wharf, is still ongoing, and likely not to be fully completed until September.

The spokesperson said: “The Ministry of Public Works is undertaking a structural and condition survey of the wharf (King’s). 

“Geotechnical investigations for Heritage Wharf were expanded to include Kings Wharf as this was considered financially prudent at the time. 

“We will develop designs for upgrade of King’s Wharf to take ships of equivalent size of the Breakaway (with some scope for future increases in size), prepare cost estimates and start the planning and consultation process.

“In the event that the improvements are needed to the wharf, the Ministry would like to be in a position to move forward with the minimum of delay.”

Maintenance work at King’s Wharf is also expected to be carried out either later this year or in the early part of next year.

The spokesperson told the Sun: “At present we have not determined that new works do have to be done. 

“Maintenance works are always necessary to keep all of our structures functioning effectively.

“We have been asked to consider the arrangements for passenger management — i.e. customs and security — as these are not ideal as presently arranged at King’s Wharf. 

“These will be considered in consultation with the stakeholders.”

The Ministry spokesperson added: “We do not have a date for construction work to commence.

“We are preparing as soon as we can so that we can minimize the impact upon the planning process should we be asked to proceed. 

“The need will be determined from demand primarily if a new contract were to be available for long-term cruise ship arrivals and secondly to improve the functionality of the Royal Naval Dockyard Facility as a whole.”