|A view of the West Coast, north of the Holetown Improvement Project. (FP)|
As the Holetown Waterfront Improvement project officially got under way today, stakeholders are being assured that all work will be concluded by November 30.
This assurance is coming from Acting Director of the Coastal Zone Management Unit, Dr. Lorna Inniss, who said her organisation will continue to work with stakeholders during every step of the project.
She noted that stakeholder meetings were held prior to the start of the project, and another one was expected to be held on Wednesday, October 24 at the Trents Community Centre, in Trents, St. James, beginning at 6:00 p.m., to inform stakeholders about what would be happening in the coming weeks.
"That is important to the whole process of coastal zone management; that is part of the integrated aspect of it; working with all the stakeholders and reducing conflict as much as possible," Dr. Inniss said.
Manager of the Barbados office of Baird and Associates, and Senior Engineer for the project, David Turner, explained that the main challenge for this part of the coastline was not getting the structures built, but the security and coordination requirements of all the various stakeholders around the coast.
"One of the primary factors in organising this project was to ensure that we do not interfere with, and minimise the impact on the stakeholders. This coast is very tourist related and there are a lot of hotels and other types of tourist accommodation. [Therefore] the project has been set up to work outside the main tourist season which is between [the] beginning of December and mid-April," he said.
The first section of the $10 million project, which started today, runs from between Heron Bay to Coral Reef Club Hotel, and will consist of the construction of approximately four gyrones and beach enhancements.
During the construction phase, Mr. Turner stressed that the beach will be closed as the area becomes a construction zone. "In any construction zone you have to discourage the public from entering it. There will be large equipment. It is a dangerous area. It is not an area where we will encourage people to be walking through. There will be closed off areas," he added.
Mr. Turner further advised that anyone who wanted to visit the site should first speak with the contractors, C.O. Williams, who had overall responsibility for the security of the area.
"We have done several projects along the coast but it is always a challenge because there are people who would want to come to the beach on holiday and for relaxation and would not think about those things. There will be signage and appropriate measures to make people aware of it," he said.