Marine base contract expected soon

A $1.86 million bid to build the first stage of the Cayman Islands’ new marine base has been approved by the Central Tenders Committee, but a contract which would allow the actual construction to proceed isn’t expected to be finalised until December or January.

Robson’s Construction was selected by the CTC, on the recommendation of public works staff, to build the marina section of the base. That includes a concrete boat launch ramp, a boat storage area, a paved driveway and a parking lot.

However, the site selected at the end of Hirst Road in Newlands has not received planning approval.

One of the issues holding matters up is the need for what’s known as a coastal works permit, since part of the marine base will extend out into the water.

‘It essentially a soil, a sedimentation and erosion plan,’ said Scott Graubard with the public works department.

‘We need that approval before we can start works on the site,’ public works Senior Project Manager Mark Urizar said.

The selected contractor also has to provide proof of insurance and other standard contract items, according to Mr. Urizar.

Robson construction owner Robert Bodden said he didn’t anticipate any problems, and said he already had staff and materials lined up awaiting the final go-ahead from government.

The CTC also gave approval for the purchase of two marine patrol boats which will be housed at the base once it’s completed.

A 65foot craft and a 38-foot interceptor boat for the Royal Cayman Islands police service were expected to cost more than $2.4 million in total.

The entire cost of the marine base, once all the patrol boats are purchased and its first and second stages of construction are complete, is expected to be around $9 million.

Authorities are hoping the new launch ramp will help speed responses to medical emergencies or rescues in the North Sound. The first stage of the base’s construction was hoped to be finished sometime next year.

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