North Channel Widening To Begin This Month

October 21, 2015

[Updated] The Ministry of Public Works said the widening of the North Channel — to accommodate the new generation of cruise ships — will commence at the end of this month, and the dredging will be a 24 hour, seven day a week operation and will take approximately one month to complete.

A spokesperson said, “The Ministry of Public Works would like to inform the public that the widening of the North Channel will commence at the end of October 2015.

“The channel is being widened and dredged to accommodate the new generation of cruise ships, commencing with the 2016 visits of Royal Caribbean International’s Quantum class.

“It is anticipated that the dredging will be a 24 hour, seven day a week operation and will take approximately one month to complete. A Notice to Mariners will be issued by Marine and Ports in due course. For more information, please visit

According to the channel study website, the re-alignment of the North Channel has been agreed so as to minimise the impact to the coral reefs, dredging will commence in late October to avoid main coral and fish spawning season, the dredge spoils will be re-used in the landfill project at South Basin, and 598 corals have been relocated to adjacent reefs and are being monitored.

Update 8.37pm: In response, the Bermuda Environmental Sustainability Taskforce [BEST] said, “While BEST is definitely not in favor of carving up the Island to accommodate oversized cruise ships, we commend the process followed by the impact assessors.”

BEST said they applaud the process engaged by Bermuda Environmental Consulting Ltd [BEC] as it involved stakeholders, with BEST and other environmental NGO’s being consulted early in the process.

BEST also noted that they conducted an Environmental Impact Assessment [EIA], and because of the work done on the EIA it was discovered that far less actual dredging/excavation was needed than was first anticipated, and said a team led by BEC successfully moved over 500 corals, which “has provided an opportunity to monitor that methodology for future benefit to coral life, not just in Bermuda.”

“We must remain vigilant that in the steps being taken to fit Bermuda to these mega-ships we take care not to make our Island less fit for ourselves and our preferred strata of visitors,” BEST concluded.

Update Oct 22, 3.03pm: On a possibly related note the “Astrolabe” — which marine websites list as a “dredger” — is presently docked in St George’s. Photos below.

Astrolabe St George's Bermuda, October 22 2015-2

Astrolabe St George's Bermuda, October 22 2015-1

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Comments (56)

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  1. Raymond Ray says:

    I certainly hope,(to avoid Union disruption)that there will be a number of locals partaking in the realignment of the channel…

    • mixitup says:

      I certainly hope that the Gov’t ensures Locals have the opportunity to find work on this project….might be a better way of stating your point…. oh rite – nevermind.

      • Zevon says:

        Oh yeah, of course. Bermuda is full of unemployed dredgers. It’s a big thing here.

    • Ray Dung says:

      Look Dunkleteer the dredging is being performed by locals! Oh really like Bermuda has any thing on this level :)

    • drunken ursula says:

      wish you just get over yourself….country club guy!

    • Bermudian says:

      I know that people discover stones in their kidneys, but you write like you have them in your head. If it wasn’t for the Union many black Bermudians wouldn’t have the jobs they have today. That is a fact!!! Neither you or I can relate to what this group had to adore. Also stop the political ranting and grow up.

    • Onion Juice says:

      At least Ross Perot didn’t need any notice.

  2. Terry says:

    God no.
    What will Ravran Twead say.
    Lord they will have a North Rock meeting.

    Verz dee funds cumin frum.
    Do we haiv annudah PPP or has hit bean putt howt to tandar.

    Lord I need a rum.

    Vat habout dee feesh.
    Stooward Heyvird vill be hall ova dee hair.

    Ver doomed.

    Burts Chanel #13……..


    • civil servant says:

      One thing about it’s clear that your a living a$$. Just the other day you bashed a blogger for writing posting extraneous gibberish, and here you are doing the exact same thing.

      Oh and Raymond Ray your nothing but a squirrel climbing the oba tree for a Nut. I would submit my real name you internet Troll, but since many of us bloggers work for the last 2 year government it wouldn’t be appropriate when sitting in meeting advising the Ministers.

      • Family Man says:

        If this is representative of the educational abilities of those who advise the Ministers, we’re screwed.

        • J. Smith says:

          So true with a certain segment of the population that was taken when the arrogant OBA party took charge. All those mice that can’t relate tick dislike.

      • Northshore says:

        Um, you should not be advising anyone!

      • serengeti says:

        Yeah, I can see how your advice would be really useful.

  3. cole says:

    Where is the Environmental Impact Assessment? It is not available on the website. The EIA is supposed to be a publicly available document, is it not?

    • Terry says:

      Don’t know where the hell you live but things change.

      Go down South Shore and see the fish and coral et al.

      Go up north shore (use a punt since you have no knowledge of waters)

      Hang on…….Breakaway is coming….. Lord. They have fish filters………………

    • mixitup says:

      4 dislikes and counting… All of a sudden no one is interested in the environment? They must be a difference in digging a tunnel (southlands) and digging the channel is my guess..hmm

      • impressive. says:

        Exactly, where are all the people who where up in arms and so concerned about the environment a few years ago.. I guess the environment is not important to them anymore, or they have just given up on this world.. (The naive me would believe it has nothing to do with who the Government is) smh

    • Northshore says:

      Its a channel !! Cheeeese!

    • Bill says:

      Maybe there isn’t one. Gov is looking solely on “$$$Money$$$$” generated from the bigger cruise ships and AC35 rather than the environment. Bigger cruise ships = more trash we have to deal with, more sewage we have to deal with, more transportation issues we have to deal with, poorer air quality in Dockyard we have to deal with, crowded beaches, crowded water space activities. But they also would give us more money as well, more arrival taxes, bus and ferry fare income, taxi drivers will be happy, tour operators will be happy, and shops and businesses will be happy.

      I think allowing bigger cruise ships are a quick fix to help our economy and to destroy our environment. We should focus more on the “Airport” and THE AIRLINES to bring in people, “not the channel Bigger ships and Dockyard”.

    • Pete says:

      Oh yeah , where`s Stuart Hayward, just like he`s silent on that environmentally damaging and expensive airport project.
      What about those embarrassingly long Bird baily bridges. All we need is a simple concrete fixed structure all past, and present governments seem to ignore that unsightly temp structure.
      What do the Tourist`s think??

  4. somuchless says:

    This has gotta be a private company doing the work. 24/7 and completed in a month. While gov creates a round about and has taken more than a year. Yeah you read right. a round a bout. A circle. One year and counting. Bermuda is really another world. Lolololol

  5. True onion says:

    Very sad indeed. I can remember the day when we shunned the cruise ships and now here we are tearing apart what little natural habitat we have left to cater to them.

    • TheUnamedFeeling says:

      I know…one day we were out on north shore a day or so after they performed the regular channel maintenance and you should have seen the amount of fish asphyxiated from the sand that no doubt collected in their gills…can you imagine what actual channel widening will cause the amount of silt churned up will certainly be detrimental to the environment – namely the coral reefs…no word from anyone who we would expect to hear from…

      Stuart Hayward was bent out of shape when Belcario Thomas wanted to put a bar on a beach! Where is he know?

      How about BUEI? Quiet. The Aquarium? Crickets…Blue Halo? Forget about it..

  6. Proud Bermudian says:

    Ok Great… now what about St. Georges? Can the same be done there?

    • Hold your Horse says:

      Bie wait your turn St Geo is on the 30 year hotel plan, but when they start to dig the Dunkie needs to make sure Craiggy is not the Public Works Minister! We don’t want Desarrollos Gate.


      St Georgians do not want their channel or pass or whatever its called widened at all.
      Only repeating what they shout from the mountain tops every time someone speaks on the subject.

  7. Codfish and potato says:

    Someone gonna make a lot of $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$.

    • Lois Frederick says:

      Yes you’re right, the whole of Bermuda. Welcoming Anthem of the Seas will bring one of the biggest vessels on the ocean here with thousands of visitors. Great progress. If we don’t we get left behind. Dredging required to get the benefits for years to come. I heard talk a while back that RCCL were assisting, as they do in other destinations, although not confirmed, we might not be paying so much up front but possibly a deal where they get concessions in return. We will have to wait for details.

  8. Triangle Drifter says:

    Done deal. Why in the world would a dredge ship with its own fully trained crew onboard hire untrained unneeded Bermudians?



    • Triangle Drifter says:

      Whew!!! Lots of dislikes there. Not surprisingly, no responses for the dislikes. So, one of you, please explain why untrained, most unlikey unwilling to work the hours on a ship that operates 24/7, would or should be hired on for a project that should only take a month?

      They are not doing anything as complex as building a roundabout or a wall you know.

  9. mixitup says:

    Carefully look at the excitement, the support for a Gov’t that is willing to “carve up the country” when 5 years ago the then PLP Gov’t met fierce protest over Southlands Juhmeirah project tunnel.. Look at Grand Atlantic, a housing complex built to benefit Middle Income Bermudians (derailed over fear of the cliff it was built on) now becoming a Hotel (I personally wanted to purchase but was convinced it was unsafe). BTW, did anyone protested the complex built next to the dump?…. Look at what they tried to do to the Lamb Foggo urgent care centre, a much needed great investment for the people of the east…..look at the Waterfront Project… Look at the support the new, Overpriced, Un Tendered Airport is receiving from a certain segment. But with the new cruise dock in Dockyard that went over budget, the PLP was bashed to no end… Where did the concern about Gov’t Money go? Is the Airport 250+million deal the best deal? No one cares? Hell, the Airport is a project that is not critical at this time! Dredging the cut is not critical! (The Breakaway is the 4th largest ship in the World and it navigated through just fine, we can tell RCCL we will pass on the Quantum of the Seas) I hope people are watching closely what is going on here.. This Gov’t is so desperate to say “See what we did,” vote us back in!! All while butchering up the country/handing off revenue sources to foreign hands and plunging us into more debt..And these folks are ‘A’ Ok with this… Pay attention people.

    • Lois Frederick says:

      By your words you are not PROGRESSIVE. Funny in a sad way to hear the plp preaching from high about money matters. Budgeting certainly wasn’t a concern for them whilst in power. The books prove it. Left with a bag of rocks the OBA is trying and succeeding to do what it can with limited means to improve Bermuda’s prospects. Totally unlike the plp whose only method was borrow and spend. If you can’t get that, you are choosing not to.

      • LOLOLOLOLOLOL says:

        You seemed to have veered off the point mixitup was speaking on.

        • TheUnamedFeeling says:

          They have no counter – and if they do its beat the same old they did it now watch us do it too and you dare not complain…

      • TheUnamedFeeling says:

        Where does he say he is PLP Lois? He didn’t – he is making an example of the media led and fueled hysteria that would have one party’s faithful cheer on what five years ago they would have bemoaned. You just assumed because of the content of his message, which is simply an expose of the hypocritical nature of the body politic on these devils isles…that he is PLP. He could be like me and have pity on you all…useful idiots.

        • Lois Frederick says:

          That’s somewhat amusing!

        • mixitup says:

          Exactly @theunamed… I just choose not to run around any mulberry bushes with these ppl…my time is too valuable.

    • TheUnamedFeeling says:

      That is a herd truth most of the OBA faithful do not want brought up. It is almost devilish in design…

      Again I am neither OBA or PLP to be clear…just calling it as I see it. The hypocrisy by these “progressives” or “alliance” members is nauseating…

    • serengeti says:

      Who, exactly, “convinced” you that Grand Atlantic was “unsafe”?

      • mixitup says:

        Serengeti don’t bore me please..And don’t act brand new.

        • serengeti says:

          Question too hard for you? Or have you been making life decisions based on comments made by anonymous posters on websites?

  10. paperboy says:

    This is a big project that will raise a lot of questions around filling the South Basin. I understand that there is not enough fill from this dredging initiative to complete the South Basin so fill will come from Nova Scotia. What efforts are bring made to ensure the fill from off island is clean and will not create collateral damage within our Bermuda ecosystem? Will the Environmental Impact Assessment of foreign fill be made public?

    • TheUnamedFeeling says:

      Yes it is pretty clear they are hell bent on the elimination of one segment of this country by (what they think) are subversive means…but the emperor is indeed naked…

      • TheUnamedFeeling says:

        paperboy you are on to something there. There is no way they are going to be able to eliminate biological propagation should species survive the cross over…

    • Believe says:

      From what I have read BEST has been heavily scrutinising the EI of the South basin project

      I believe I read that

      1) imported fill for the South basin will be Granite not organic
      2) BEST has contested at least some of the south basin development and it has to go to court.

  11. Eve says:

    Read the Deloitte report it gives the cost estimate at $14M. The report also says Royal Caribbean has offered to cover $15M of the cost if they get first dibs on scheduling. That would mean Royal would have control of Dockyard arrival and departure for their ships. Bermuda can’t handle an increase in cruisers!

    • TheUnamedFeeling says:

      Again the emperor is naked. But I do agree with your second point.

      Another consideration is this –

      The total price of an average cruise is $1779.82 per person, a 3.5% increase over 2014. The average per passenger per day spending is projected to be $222.00, with $168.43 ticket price and $53.57 on board spending (average cruise duration 8.0 days, median duration 7.0 days).

      Considering that over 75% of cruise passengers are from the US and Europe – who both coincidentally have the fastest rate of middle class shrinkage it is (not entirely) safe to assume that revenues in this travel sector will diminish as well, leaving us with a nice pitch but no teams playing…so to speak.

    • Lois Frederick says:

      Thanks for the info sounds like a fair trade to me. I suppose some would prefer to either not progress or borrow more money that we cannot afford to pay back.

  12. Eve says:

    Sorry I forgot this, Deloitte report also says labour and equipment would not be be local.

  13. AteVanessa says:

    We make a lot of money from breakaway cause our shop right there so even better if we can get more ships, I’ll get an other raise he he