CHARLESTOWN, Nevis — Construction work on the 300 foot water taxi pier at Oualie Bay has resumed. Hon. Alexis Jeffers, Deputy Premier of Nevis and Area Representative for the St. James Parish, who heads the project, said due to a delay the completion date and based on the construction rate, the taxi pier should be completed in October.
The deputy premier said in an update while touring the project on Aug. 22, the contractor, Secure Marine Construction from St. Maarten, had to suspend work due to the delay, pushing back the initial completion date slated for this month.
“The delays would have affected the timeline we would have given in the past, in terms of, complete construction within a six-week period,” Jeffers said. “We have had delays of almost a month, so it means that we are behind with this project, but most of the difficulties have been ironed out…I am happy to report we will be likely to complete project either by late September or early October and that will give us a chance to do many more things in order to get this site ready.”
Since resumption of the project, piles have been planted off shore spanning a length of 200 feet with another 100 feet left to go. The pier is designed with a“T” shape at the end. Steel casings are being constructed on site. Slabs and pile caps are prefabricated in St. Maarten and brought to Nevis. A retaining wall has also been constructed on shore, adjacent to the shoreline.
Jeffers noted that the facility will provide convenient access in-and-out of Nevis. He said the Nevis Island Administration (NIA) is ensuring that the necessary infrastructure is in place for the island’s continued development and for the benefit of the people of Nevis.
After completion, the new state-of-the-art water taxi facility which will fall under the jurisdiction of the Nevis Air and Sea Ports Authority will have a reception area and parking to provide patrons with an easier point of access and exit when utilising the pier.
Jeffers said it will facilitate the thriving water taxi service operating in the area which has been utilising a nearby privately-owned pier which is in a state of disrepair.
“If we were to welcome persons into Nevis and when they are exiting Nevis, we want them to do so in a safe manner and also in a manner that is consistent with the services that we want to offer here on the island of Nevis,” Jeffers said.
Work on the $6 million project began in June. It is being financed by the Sugar Industry Diversification Foundation (SIDF). Its funding is derived from the St. Kitts and Nevis Citizenship by Investment Programme.