PM reopens Barraterre Dock on Exuma; announces future projects to come

PM reopens Barraterre Dock on Exuma; announces future projects to come
Prime Minister Dr Hubert Minnis (center) during his visit to Exuma (BIS PHOTOS)

EXUMA, BAHAMAS — Prime Minister Dr Hubert Minnis yesterday officially opened the Barraterre Dock on Exuma, which had been constructed to replace the prior government dock.

Minnis said the improvement was “much needed”, stating: “The structure was in a poor condition with a high risk of collapse of some sections of the dock.

“The economic stability of the community of Barratarre is highly dependent on the construction of a new and improved docking facility.

“Funding was allocated in the Ministry of Public Works 2019/2020 capital budget for this project and a contract was awarded to SJK Engineering & Construction, a company headed by a qualified and experienced young Bahamian Engineer, Mr. Stefan Knowles.

“He has spearheaded many such projects throughout The Bahamas and the ministry’s confidence that he would produce a world class dock was justified.”

Approved funding for the project, Minnis said, included: $419,018.60 for the dock’s replacement; a 10 percent “client’s contingency” of $42,000 for unforeseen circumstances; and a provisional sum of $100,000 “to cover any increase in the pile length and the amount of dredging to be undertaken”.

The contingency funds and provisional sum went towards refurbishment of a community dock, which is used when the government dock cannot be used and which was also “in poor condition”; and also towards the construction of a seawall and reclamation of land adjacent to the dock, Minnis said.

“The project was completed in a timely manner,” said the prime minister.

“Even though we had promised a grand celebration upon the opening of the dock, unfortunately the exigencies of the pandemic curtailed those plans.

“However, we could not let 2020 end without celebrating with the Barratarre community the completion of the much-needed replacement government dock.”


Airport and road improvements still to come

Minnis also announced future improvement projects planned for Exuma, including the completion of an air terminal at Exuma International Airport and road paving works.

A 52-week contract for road paving on mainland Exuma, in the amount of $8,047,715.76, was awarded to Caribbean Pavement Solutions, according to Minnis, with work expected to begin “shortly”.

A contract of $1,474,939.20 was also awarded to Carib Construction & Project Management for “carriageway rehabilitation” in Black Point, which Minnis said “is about 40 percent completed and should be finished early in 2021”.

“Plans are also well on their way for the design and construction of the new terminal building and a new crash fire rescue building at the Exuma International Airport,” he said.

“Tender documents were issued and three bids were received. The bids have been evaluated and the evaluation report submitted to the InterAmerican Development Bank for their no objection.

“The Air Terminal Building (ATB) at Exuma International Airport will be transformational and forms part of a comprehensive redevelopment program. The architect for this project is Alexiou & Associates.”

Minnis added the building will house multiple government agencies and 12 retail spaces.

“It is anticipated that construction of the terminal building and crash fire rescue building will commence in the first quarter of 2021 and the airside construction will commence in the second quarter of 2021,” he noted.