The Ministry of Public Works today announced that the Heritage Wharf project is off to a good start with materials arriving in Bermuda already and equipment now following. The project is scheduled to be ready for the arrival of the Norwegian Breakaway on May 15, 2013.


The Minister of Public Works, the Hon. Trevor Moniz stated, “The Ministry can confirm that local employees will take up 75 percent or greater of the total workforce to complete the project which will provide an excellent learning experience for both the local workforce on the ground and local engineers and technical staff who are working closely with overseas experts to ensure the project is completed to the required quality and on time.”


To date, the Department of Immigration has approved 22 temporary work permits at the request of the Ministry of Public Works to support this project. The barges, cranes and other equipment that are being brought in for these works are larger than what are found locally and require skilled handling.  The local consortia of Sunrise Construction Limited, Crisson Construction Limited and Onsite Engineering Limited are contracted for the works and they will continue to employ Bermudian staff.  However they will also be employing staff from abroad to operate the barges and pile driving equipment in a safe manner without danger to local employees.


The design of the strengthening works has been reviewed in detail, particularly at the forces exerted on the dock during the berthing of the ship as well as during the cruise ships stay.  In order to withstand loading from the cruise vessels in a sustained 45 knot wind speed and the waves associated with this, it has been necessary to use more piled foundations of a larger size that are driven deeper and orientated correctly.  The structures that will be built will be noticeably larger than those currently seen at Heritage Wharf and will prevent the existing structure from being overloaded and damaged.


In order to undertake the works in the restricted timescale and to a high quality the Ministry has imported the piles in 120ft lengths.  This reduces the amount of time needed for site welding considerably but unfortunately it requires that equipment be introduced that is capable of handling this size of pile.  All of the welds will be inspected in detail to ensure compliance. Those already completed have been inspected and any defects found have been repaired.  All site welds will undergo the same rigorous scrutiny as is required to ensure a product that will stand the test of time.


All payments on this project will be supported by documentation and fully auditable and, there are no hidden costs.  Rates for labour, equipment and materials have to be agreed up front and have been verified by Government using cost databases recognized within the industry.


Minister Moniz went on to say, “We are grateful for the provision of accommodation at a significantly discounted rate from a local hotel in what is we believe a mutually beneficial arrangement.  We have also benefited from unsolicited help by local firms in facilitating the delivery of materials to site.  It is gratifying to see Bermudians pulling together to help complete what is admittedly a huge challenge and hope that these examples of cooperation and assistance continue to help us along the way.”


The public will see increased activity in the Dockyard area over the coming weeks and works in the area will continue on to the end of May. The Ministry believes local businesses will all benefit from this off season influx of people in these challenging economic times.