Bannister not pleased with seawall

Bannister not pleased with seawall
Minister of Public Works, Desmond Bannister, toured the construction site of the Seawall in Smith’s Point on Friday, April 13. The Minister, along with other officials, are seen having the work explained by personnel of Waugh Construction Company. (BIS Photo/Lisa Davis)

Public Works Minister Desmond Bannister said he is “displeased” with the work on the seawall in High Rock, East Grand Bahama. During a tour of two seawalls in the nation’s second city last Thursday, Bannister said, the seawall was “improperly built”.

“We came out here because what you see is a seawall that was improperly built,” said the minister.

“It has not given the people of Grand Bahama value for their money and you’ve seen where this was improperly done. The wall further down has actually separated, and there are a number of issues which ought never to have happened.

“We’re going to have to do some things to remedy this but we’re very concerned about the quality of work we get from contractors with respect to seawalls and other protective mechanisms for the people of Grand Bahama and the people of The Bahamas.”

Bannister said it is important that people see what happened with their tax dollars, and how it has been wasted with “shoddy work, shoddy workmanship and work that’s not going to last.

“… We have to ensure that this doesn’t happen again,” he said.

Antonne Taylor, a coastal/structural enginee said, that the shorelines need to be made more resilient to coastal hazards. To this end, he said, well-built coastal protection is needed, and the seawall in High Rock is an example of one done incorrectly.

“As a result, it’s suffered the various damages,” said Taylor.

“Going forward, we have to make the necessary recommendations and works to ensure the proper functionality of the seawall.

The seawall, which was built in 2004,  does not have a timeline for the repairs. With hurricane season fast approaching, Bannister questioned whether the seawall will protect or harm the residents.

Bannister also toured the seawall in Smith’s Point, however. He was pleased with that work.

“You’ll remember when I started as Minister of Public Works, this project was lagging. It was quite a bit behind time,” he said.

“The right decision was made when the former contractor was terminated and Waugh Construction was brought in. They have shown extreme, outstanding professionalism in getting the job done. When you see something like this that is going to protect the community and you see what they’ve done here. The beach is coming back and so you’ll be able to walk on the beach. The amount of erosion that they had on this beach before, the sand is now coming back naturally because of the work that they’ve done.”

Bannister said he was particularly proud that there were Bahamians doing the work.