Efforts to enhance Saunders Beach continue as the Government signs contracts for beach replenishment for this popular Bahamian and tourist recreational area.
During the signing ceremony Monday, Public Works and Transport Minister the Hon. Neko C. Grant said, “This project consists of the completion of physical enhancements to Saunders Beach comprising some 2,300 feet of shoreline. The principal works to be undertaken include construction of rock groins, placement of beach-quality sand, and installation of sand fencing.”
Attending the ceremony was Environment Minister the Hon. Earl Deveaux and senior ministry officials including permanent secretary Colin Higgs, director John Canton, undersecretary Elizabeth Keju, and deputy permanent secretary Brenda Dorsett.
The objective of the project includes doubling the length of sand beach at the shorefront from 1,000 to over 2,000 feet, widening the existing sand beach in front of the new parking facility and roundabout by 60 feet.
Further, the project will create a new 70-ft wide beach east of the roundabout and the nearby gas station.
In advancing the project the partnership of Olsen Associates and Carleton Blair and Associates entered into negotiations with Bahamas Marine Construction to execute the principal construction works, Mr. Grant said. The partnership also negotiated with Tycoon Management for the transportation of 15,500 tons of boulders from Grand Bahama to the project site and provision of 37,500 cubic yards of sand for beach replenishment.
Contracts were awarded to Bahamas Marine Construction in the base amount of $1,189,277 and Tycoon Management for $952,500.
Mr. Grant noted that Bahamas Marine Construction and Tycoon Management are currently engaged on the Beach Improvement Project with Kerzner International at Fort Montagu.
“That project, initially offered in September 2006 and deferred for construction to the fall of 2011 at the same cost, is being undertaken at a discount bearing in mind that overall costs of goods and services have increased by 11 percent and costs for diesel fuel have increased by more than 38 percent over this five-year period,” he said.
“The cost of the beach replenishment project at Saunders Beach is calculated to be approximately eight percent less than the equivalent cost of the beach replenishment project at Fort Montagu. Therefore, the cost of the Saunders Beach replenishment to the Government is considered to be significantly less than the expected price at prevailing market prices and has created substantial savings to the Government as a result of donations of quarried rock material and construction and provision of other materials and works at close to,” he added.
Mr. Grant acknowledged the technical team at the Ministry of Works, the partnership of Olsen Associates Inc (designers) and Carleton Blair and Associates (engineers) for the role they have played in the planning and negotiation stages of the project.
In brief remarks Minister Deveaux said he is proud to be associated with this project. He warned that the work in the “extraordinary high energy” area would result in turbidity. He said the area would appear worse than it actually is and the turbidity is expected to evaporate quickly.
Fifty-five persons are expected to be employed on this project, which is to be completed by summer of this year. Saunders Beach will remain open to the public during the construction phase.
The Government completed the first phase of redevelopment in 2011 which involved the installation of a parking area, playground equipment, restroom facilities and benches.
Dredging Today Staff, February 29, 2012; Image: bahamas.gov