Ministry Remains ‘Confident’ Despite Setbacks

April 14, 2013

The Public Works Ministry said that despite setbacks — including a damaged crane — they “remain confident” that the Heritage Wharf will be prepared to receive the Norwegian Breakaway next month. Wake from a passing vessel caused damage to the crane, and the Ministry has asked boaters to reduce their speeds in the vicinity of the works.

The work, which is projected to cost $22.36 million, is due to be completed for the arrival of the 4,000 passenger Norwegian Breakaway cruise ship on May 15th. The 146,600-ton, 1063-foot long ship will be the largest cruise ship to ever visit Bermuda.

“The Ministry is hoping the good weather will be sustained to allow construction to continue without delay,” a statement from Government said. “However, work was temporarily stopped on the northern breasting dolphin due to an incident where a wake from a passing vessel caused damage to the crane.

“As the ongoing work to this wharf is critical to the country, the Ministry would ask all commercial and public shipping to be sure that they reduce their speeds to ensure they do not throw any wake in the vicinity of the works.”

The Ministry said the damage to the dock “appears superficial but such are the loads that are being carried that it is unsafe to use the crane for construction until repairs can be affected.”

Spare parts are being flown in and the Ministry said they hope to minimise the delay in construction progress to under a week on this structure.

The full statement from the Ministry follows below:

The Minister of Public Works Trevor Moniz in his ongoing efforts to keep the general public abreast of the construction works to the Heritage Wharf, advised that the good weather last week enabled the Ministry of Public Works to move forward with progress on both of the breasting dolphins (mooring structures) early in the week.

The Ministry is hoping the good weather will be sustained to allow construction to continue without delay. However, work was temporarily stopped on the northern breasting dolphin due to an incident where a wake from a passing vessel caused damage to the crane.

As the ongoing work to this wharf is critical to the country, the Ministry would ask all commercial and public shipping to be sure that they reduce their speeds to ensure they do not throw any wake in the vicinity of the works.

This is vital not just for the progress of the works but more importantly for the safety of the workforce who are operating heavy machinery in difficult conditions. The marine police have been alerted and will be monitoring the area to ensure compliance. But the cooperation of the vessel operators is essential in this matter in order to prevent accidents causing damage or serious injury.

The damage to the dock appears superficial but such are the loads that are being carried that it is unsafe to use the crane for construction until repairs can be affected. Spare parts were ordered immediately and are being flown in and the Ministry hopes to minimise the delay in construction progress to under a week on this structure. In the mean time we will concentrate our efforts elsewhere and will redouble efforts on the northern breasting dolphin in a few days time.

Fourteen of the sixteen permanent works piles in the southern dolphin are now in place and before we were forced to stop works on the north we had placed eight piles. Works will concentrate on welding extensions in the coming week and completion of driving of the piles on these structures.

Workers on the project have concreted the precast elements for the breasting dolphins on schedule and are concentrating their efforts on pre fixing steel reinforcement for the main structures. This steel mat is being prepared off-site to save time and will be transported by barge and lifted in to place with the cranes once the piling operation is complete.

Visitors to Dockyard will have seen the erection of a structure in the Ground Transportation area near the site. This complicated set up is for a pile test that must be carried out in order to confirm the design calculations and geotechnical drilling information that allow the Ministry to be certain of the strength of the piled foundations.

The pile test requires that a 275 tonne jack is used to load up our test pile and measure the movement of the pile under load. The pile has been driven in the Ground Transportation Area for ease of construction it is a 24 inch diameter pile that is driven in to 145 feet inside a 30 inch casing that has been cleaned out to the sea bed level so that we simulate the conditions of the permanent works piles.

The Ministry is using the floating docks from St Georges that were washed away during hurricane Fabian for counter weight to jack against and these will be filled with water. After the test we will be re-using these floats in a maintenance programme for the ferry docks and for a temporary berthing space inside Dockyard.

The pile test will be completed next week and the equipment used there will be redeployed to hasten the permanent works construction.

The Minister reiterated previous remarks by stating: “Despite setbacks we remain confident that we will deliver a structure that befits a ship of the stature of the Norwegian Breakaway and that the dock will be prepared to receive this ship from its maiden voyage on the 15th of May this year”.

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Comments (12)

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  1. Time Shall Tell says:

    What about the concrete cure time? They plan to use this docks before the concrete is fully cured? It’s getting damaged already from the ripple of a passing boat (what happens when it’s got a massive ship tied to it during bad weather?)& improper rebar is being used (anyone who’s seen what rusting rebar does to a deck or wall knows what I’m talking about)? I thought this set of work was to correct shoddy workmanship from the original build??

    • collins says:

      Trevor, what the hell is going on ?

    • Come Correct says:

      “It’s getting damaged already from the ripple of a passing boat (what happens when it’s got a massive ship tied to it during bad weather?)”

      After reading the article (if you did) where did you get that from? The crane doing the work was damaged. Do you know what potential hazards there are from a couple 6inch waves offsetting a crane carrying a load?

      “& improper rebar is being used (anyone who’s seen what rusting rebar does to a deck or wall knows what I’m talking about)?”

      Last I checked rebar shouldn’t rust unless the outer layer hase been cut, bent, or damamged. It still should not rust signifigantly if concrete is being poured soon after one of the above has been done. The concrete would then create a seal around the rebar preventing it from rusting further. Rust = oxidation, oxidation needs…oxygen.

      • “Sabotage”. Obviously, there are those that do NOT want to see this project completed on time and, “MAY DO” anything in their powers to, “hum-bug” the completion of said project…I also can’t find anywhere in the article it being mentioned “damages from ripples”

        • Time Shall Tell says:

          Wake from a boat is ripples in the water, look up the word “wake” on wikipedia.

      • Time Shall Tell says:

        Read the article again “fully ” & you’ll see that the dock was damaged from this incident. As seen by the original dock work that this present work is being done to repair, there can be much damage caused by a large ship onto a dock during bad weather.

        You need to check with many long time masons, there have been plenty of cracked decks & bulging walls caused by rusting rebar expanding.

  2. SoMuchMore says:

    though there are issues and setbacks it is good that the ministry is letting us know.

    i along with everyone else hope the heritage wharf will be ready may 15th.

  3. Whistling Frog says:

    Parts are being flown in for the crane? Until then, can’t you get another crane to replace it? And what will happen if the dock is not ready by the 15th? just asking…

  4. CommonSense says:

    @Time Shall Tell: Did you even read the article? It wasn’t the wharf that was damaged from wake, it was a crane being used to build it.

    • Time Shall Tell says:

      Did you read it? If you did then you would of read “The Ministry said the damage to the dock “appears superficial”.

  5. Triangle Drifter says:

    Assuming the crane is on a barge, what is big enough to throw a wake large enough to move the barge? A Government tugboat? A Government ferry? Any considerate skipper would be very careful & well aware of the wake that his vessel throws.

    Surely the contractor knows who caused the wake damaging the crane. Lets hear who. Lets see some charges pressed.

  6. Vote for Me says:

    This is an opportunity for everyone to work in the best interest of Bermuda. Previous reports indicate that there is another crane in Bermuda (owned by a Bermuda company) that is able to be used. The practical solution is to sub contract that other crane and avoid any delay. As noted in one of the other posts, we are already taking a risk by preparing to use the dock before the concrete has fully cured. It would be a disaster if anything goes wrong with the new ship while it is tied up.