‘Prioritize Work So Completed In Short Order’

August 17, 2022 | 11 Comments

“News that the St. George’s designated Orange Ferry has been suspended due to safety concerns with the ferry dock is disappointing” and hopefully the Ministries “can review the maintenance that has been planned and either reschedule the dates or prioritize the work so that it can be completed in very short order,” St George’s MPs Kim Swan and Renee Ming said.

Renee Ming and Kim Swan Bermuda August 17 2022 TWFB

PLP Statement

In a joint statement, St George’s MPs Kim Swan and Renee Ming, said: “News that the St. George’s designated Orange Ferry has been suspended due to safety concerns with the ferry dock is disappointing the area residents and merchants.

“St. George’s, like other tourist areas, is trying to recover after two years of a pandemic. This ferry service has provided a much needed boost to the St George’s community this year, and the town would have benefitted from this additional ferry lift for the remainder of the 2022 tourist season.

“Hopefully, the Ministries of Transport and Public Works can review the maintenance that has been planned and either reschedule the dates or prioritize the work so that it can be completed in very short order. We understand the need for the Government to balance and encourage economic activity with the need to ensure tourists & local ferry riders and Marine & Ports employees are safe.

“St. George’s is an important tourist attraction and everything must be done to maintain its viability.”

Ministry of Public Works Statement

“On its surface, it would appear that the repairs are being carried out at an inopportune time,” said the Minister of Public Works Lt/Col David Burch in response to commentary over the cancellation of the Ferry Service Orange Route between Dockyard and St. George’s due to repair work at Hunter’s Wharf.

A Goverment spokesperson said, “Minister Burch, in clarifying the situation, stressed that the repairs are needed in order to protect the health and safety of passengers.

“He put forth the following timeline on the issue:

  • “8/27/21 – The initial application was submitted with a proposal to repair/remove and replace existing rusted bollards, install a handrail adjacent to the existing concrete ramp, install a fixed metal gangway with a winch system and install two timber fender panels with concrete fender supports on the side of the dock.
  • “12/3/2021 – Planning Application Objection received – Dowling Marine and Auto Service Ltd. object to the placement of the two timber fenders. The current arrangement of these fenders will impede the passageway on the entrance and exit to Dowling’s.
  • “1/21/2022 – Planning Application Representation – Letter of concern re impact from the thrust of ferry and lack of consultation from the St. George’s Preservation Authority.
  • “6/17/22 – Director of planning advised: “I spoke with my team late yesterday, and it was confirmed the sole objection to the planning application was withdrawn, and as such, I can now give approval as a matter of urgency given the circumstances.”
  • “1/7/2022 – Final Planning Application approved. Proposal to repair/remove and replace existing rusted bollards, install 3ft high handrail adjacent to existing concrete ramp, install fixed metal gangway winch system and install two timber fender panels with concrete fender supports on the side of the dock.
  • “4/7/2022 – A waiver to the fire permit was applied for, and once that was granted, we were able to apply for a Building Permit.
  • “We ran the tender process concurrently with the planning process, and we received bids back on 15 July.
  • “We requested a few additional documents from the contractor, and once received, we completed the evaluation and had a “preferred bidder”. But without the building permit, we chose to wait before signing the contract.
  • “The building permit was granted on 11 August. We got the signed contract back from the contractor on 15/8/2022.

“Work will commence on 17 August.

Minister Burch added: “That’s the history of this project – while ideally, the work should have been carried out during the off-season, the situation is such that the health and safety of passengers – especially those that use wheelchairs – are at risk. The work will commence tomorrow and is expected to be completed within five weeks.

“In the meantime, we have been exploring other options to provide ferry service. Those discussions with the Ministry of Transport are ongoing, but I wish to assure the people of St. George’s that we are working diligently to restore service as soon as possible.”

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Comments (11)

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  1. unknown800k says:

    Now you see how everyone else feels, well done!

  2. Joe Bloggs says:

    Ahh, Kim Swan a former leader of the UBP and now a proud member of the PLP.

  3. Ringmaster says:

    The ferries have been docking in St Georges for weeks, bringing tourists. Why stop now and kill off what’s left of the tourist season? Why not wait until November? Pure stupidity.

    • Question says:

      They don’t plan ahead. They wait for things to break, then either close them to try to fix them, or buy new ones. The PLP way.

  4. watching says:

    While this is extremely inconvenient, if there is in fact a safety hazard with the dock in this current state, then it appears the government has nothing else to do but to fix it. If there was a serious accident where someone was injured then the same people complaining about this project, would then be saying that government should have done something. Damned if you do, damned if you don’t.

    • Now Ya Nice says:

      They could have planned something earlier, they chose not too. Government are using Covid as a convenient excuse for everything. People still got paid, construction on private projects was done all around the island safely. Lots of projects done in Hamilton. St. Georges is simply not a priority for government. And you want the public to be comfortable with the idea of this government taking over the Corporation of Hamilton too. Like they say, be careful what you wish (vote) for, you might just get it. So said, so done!

  5. frustrated says:

    Maintenance? Government doesn’t do maintenance, all they do is react to complaints. I worked there for long enough to know that.

  6. What? says:

    The Works Minister is inept.

  7. BIRDLEGS says:

    Dock the boat alongside like any other boat, use a gang plank. It isn’t rocket science.

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