New Basseterre Ferry Terminal almost Operational
By Loshaun Dixon
The new modern ferry terminal constructed in downtown Basseterre, that was commissioned by the St. Christopher Air and Sea Ports Authority (SCASPA) since June is almost functioning for passengers commuting between St. Kitts and Nevis.
This revelation was made by Minister of Public Infrastructure the Hon. Ian “Patches” Liburd speaking with reporters who noted that there is a tentative date to open the facility as early as next week
“I am hoping to open the new terminal there is a tentative date but we are waiting on some finishing works so the most likely date is Wednesday next week.”
The Minister then spoke of the some of the upgrades that will be featured at the new facility.
“What you have is a brand new spanking ferry terminal with all the facilities therein restrooms, air-conditioned and security.”
He further disclosed that the facility will also feature information monitors as well as television screen will provide entertainment for waiting passengers.
Liburd also spoke about improved security arrangements that will be adopted when the facility is opened, that will see passengers having to undergo a screening process that is currently none existent.
“All passengers will go through a screening process at the terminal. Having bought their tickets they will enter the screening process and wait in the air conditioned room.”
Liburd added that he was not sure of the final cost of the upgraded facitlity due tosome changes that will cuase a cost variance from the original budget but noted the new building is going to be an upscale facility of the 21st century.
“At the end of the day it brings comfort to the passengers that will be using the facility. When you look at where we have come from to where we are now…where you can ensure you are in an environment that is safe, secure and comfortable.”
He also explained what had led to the cost adjustment.
“What happened initially why we had a variance in the costing, the original designs contemplated keeping the roof and rehabilitating below the roof, but once the work started and the engineering advice was sought, it then concluded that the roof that was there would not stand the test of time.
“Remember that facility was built around 1996, so what the contractors decided to do is to look forward. We have a concrete roof now with the possibility of expanding above in terms of offices and other facilities.”
Initially, at the start of construction Liburd indicated that the cost for renovating the facility is over $100,000.
The old facility that was open often used to attract vagrants who would sleep at the facility, harass passengers as well as relive themselves in the areas around the facility.