BRADES, Montserrat – Plans for Montserrat’s new port in Carr’s Bay have reached the critical 90% design stage. This week, representatives from the consulting firm Halcrow gave presentations to both government officials and other stakeholders on the developing plans for the port.
In 2012, the government approved a new design concept for the town at Little Bay which included a shifting of the port plans to Carr’s Bay.
Regional Manager for Halcrow Edward Albada said significant changes and additions were made after a review of the 60% design. One of the biggest changes has been a drop in the overall estimated costs of the main port from US$ 117 million to US$ 96 million. The marina, which will be handled separately by the Montserrat Development Corporation, is estimated at US$50 million.
Albada said this drop came as a result of making changes to the plans in order to add more functionality. “The design we presented at the 60% design phase was scrapped as it did not meet the needs for Montserrat.”
Included in the changes was the resizing of the docking facilities to handle cruise vessels up to 294 metres whereas the earlier design only accommodated up to 225 metres; allowing for the fuel vessel to unload at the docks rather than stay offshore as is presently the case; and the breakwater which was originally planned to be built via ocean construction will now be 75% constructed from land which caused a significant drop in the costs.
The overall port acreage has increased from four acres to 4.22 acres. The marina has increased from four acres to 5.49 acres. The town centre will now have 7.11 acres up from 5.55 acres.
One of the issues Albada said which is yet to be handled is the eroding cliff above the present port in Little Bay, which needs to be stabilized. Several suggestions are being pursued but no decision on the final methodology to solve the problem has been agreed on by Halcrow and the government.
During the Wednesday afternoon session with members of the fishermen, national trust, the Department of the Environment and the media, the consultant answered questions about design plans which would affect the fishermen’s access, the methodology for docking boats and the leveling of Gunn Hill to use as a stock pile site.
Photo caption: Images from the 90% design phase of the new port planned for Carr’s Bay, Montserrat.
Fisherman and port pilot Sean O’Garro discusses the proposed port design with Regional Manager of Halcrow Edward Albada.