The George Town Royal Watler Cruise Terminal is set to open for business this May.
Mr. Burns Conolly of the Burns Conolly Group said it is estimated that the terminal building and portions of the plaza will be ready in as little as just over three months time. The main retail part of the building is estimated for finishing sometime later in the year.
This is barring any unforseen building material issues, said Mr. Conolly, whose company is co-ordinating the work as project manager for the Cayman Islands Port Authority.
The site work is made up of two components: marine works and final land filling.
The marine works part of the project, which is now complete, includes building the sea wall and finger pier, and the filling in of re-claimed land up to four feet above sea level. This work was undertaken by Misener Marine out of Tampa Florida
This part of the project, which saw three acres of land reclaimed from the sea, included nearly an acre of new space for cargo. This has been in use for about a week and a half, said Mr. Conolly.
He explained that Hurricane Ivan disrupted some of the marine works.
‘It washed away some fill that was already in place and it damaged the incomplete sea wall,’ he said, adding that some of Misener’s equipment in the North Sound had also been damaged.
The second part of the project is to continue the final filling of re-claimed land to eight feet above sea level. This part of the project is being undertaken by Hurlston Ltd., a local company, which will then construct the two main buildings.
The terminal building, a one storey building, will include restrooms, Customs, Immigration and Department of Tourism offices, along with a nursing station for sick passengers.
The retail building will consist of two storeys, housing souvenir shops and restaurants and a paved plaza will hold miscellaneous retail kiosks.
The work on this project was delayed by the loss of fill in the marine part of the development, explained Mr. Conolly.
Since the storm, there have, of course, been issues involving a lack of materials, labour and housing for that labour.
Many benefits will come with the new cruise terminal once it comes on stream.
‘It will reduce congestion in Hogsty Bay (the North and South Terminals) significantly and provide triple the number of restroom facilities available to cruise passengers. It will also spread out the concentration of tourists in George Town and take the pressure off one congested area,’ explained Mr. Conolly.
He added that the facility will be a great asset to George Town as the last upgrade to any cruise facility there was in 1992.
There will be two major exits to the cruise facility: one southbound near the Seamens’ Memorial and the other near Fort Street.
Bus parking will be facilitated adjacent to the new terminal beside the new cargo hold area.
The facility will also have a 20-foot wide sidewalk in front of the retail building.
The new cruise facility will assist in handling up to eight cruise ships in George Town alongside the North and South Terminals.