Despite concerns that a privately owned dock on Virgin Gorda is too small to facilitate large traffic, the government said it still intends to use the facility for temporary docking services while it undertakes repair works at St Thomas Bay Jetty and cargo ramp.
Work is set to commence at the public jetty on May 1, said Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Communication and Works Anthony McMaster.
“We’ve been having discussions with the Virgin Gorda Yacht Harbour and we are now working out the logistics of temporarily removing the docking services from the current dock into the Yacht Harbour, which would allow the Virgin Gorda residents and visitors to continue their daily business and their daily operations,” McMaster told BVI News Online in an exclusive interview.
When asked about concerns that the private dock in the yacht harbour is too small, the permanent secretary said the issue of size is also being discussed.
He added that mechanisms will be put in place to ensure there is safety at the yacht harbour dock.
“I just came from Virgin Gorda and that is one of the same things that we were discussing,” he told BVI News Online last evening.
“The managing director of the BVI Ports Authority (Alfred Henley) was with me, and one of the things that we were looking at is the whole safety consideration surrounding the dock. So that is something that we looked at, and I have been assured by the BVI Ports Authority that they will put mechanisms in place to ensure that safety takes priority, because we do not want anyone to be injured during this temporary sitting,” McMaster said.
In the meantime, he disclosed that a decision has been taken to undertake work at the St Thomas Bay Jetty after the Easter festivities in order to avoid delays.
“As you know, we are going into the Easter season and it would be very prohibitive to try and start such a project at that stage.”
“Again, what we would like to do is get in, get the work done, and get out. If you start it during the holiday season, then you actually end up with a lot of delays. So we are looking at now starting [repair works] around 1st May, which will allow us to just get in and get out,” added McMaster.
Repair works at the facility are expected to be carried out over a 30 days period.
Acting Managing Director of the BVI Ports Authority, Alfred Henley, recently noted that the dock is the main one for entry into Virgin Gorda. He added that upgrade works will include reinforcement of the existing jetty.
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