A section of the West coast, affected by erosion. (FP)

The $10 million Holetown Waterfront Improvement Project is off to a smooth start.

This was stated by officials of the Coastal Zone Management Unit who are working on the project, which runs between Heron Bay and the Coral Reef Club. It got under way on Monday, October 22, when heavy equipment and boulders moved into the area.?? The project is the first component of the overall US$42 million Coastal Risk Assessment and Management Programme.

Speaking during the first in a series of stakeholder update meetings at the Trents Community Centre last night, Project Engineer, Rachel Worrell, said the team had not encountered any challenges so far.

"I was out there every day since Monday and we have had a steady flow of stones coming to [the] site. We are working well with the operators. We have been in contact with Heron Bay and Colony Club. Everybody is aware, and we can be approached to find out exactly what is happening," Ms. Worrell indicated.

She added that the project’s contractor, C.O. Williams, also had personnel on the beach to point out to people where it was safe to walk and places to avoid because of heavy equipment and ongoing work. "We have not said ???you cannot walk on this bit of sand even though it is close to the construction’," she noted, stating that the entire 1.5 kilometre stretch of beach was not being used at this point.

The Project Engineer added that hoteliers who initially raised concerns about potential noise levels before the start of the project were also "quite happy" with present noise levels and traffic in the area around the properties.

Noting that both individual and group stakeholder meetings were held in the past, Ms. Worrell indicated that going forward there would be additional consultations to keep those likely to be affected aware of developments, along with weekly email updates.

She said that stakeholders would also be provided with schedules next year to inform them about when work was scheduled to commence in their area.

Ms. Worrell also gave further assurance that the ongoing works would be completed by November 30 in time for the start of the 2012 tourist season, and resume on April 15 after its completion.

The Holetown Waterfront Improvement Project is expected to address the risks associated with sea level rise, coastal erosion, general climate change issues, and protect against storm surges and winter swells.

The ongoing work will feature an amalgamation of coastal structures including gyrones, breakwaters, revetments, headlands and beach nourishment.


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