Prime Minister Minnis officially opens new Government dock in Exuma

BARRATERRE, Exuma – Prime Minister the Most Hon. Dr. Hubert Minnis today officially opened a new dock at Barraterre, marking the completion of a much-needed replacement of the government docking facility.

The original government dock was a timber piled structure constructed around 1990 and was used for the mail boat service from Nassau, fishing boats, leisure craft, and tourist boats visiting the world-famous swimming pigs.

The structure was in a poor condition with a high risk of collapse of some sections of the dock, the Prime Minister noted.

“The economic stability of the community of Barratarre is highly dependent on the construction of a new and improved docking facility,” said Prime Minister Minnis at a small ceremony on Friday 27 November.

SJK Engineering and Construction, headed by Bahamian engineer Mr. Stefan Knowles, was awarded the contract to construct the dock. Approved funding included $419,08.60 for the replacement of the dock.

The community dock, which is used extensively by the public and private boat operators when use of the main government dock is not possible, was also refurbished as part of the project. It was used as a temporary facility while the main government dock was demolished and reconstructed.

The project also included the construction of a seawall.

“The project was completed in a timely manner,” said the Prime Minister. “Even though we had promised a grand celebration upon the opening of the dock, unfortunately the exigencies of the pandemic curtailed those plans. However, we could not let 2020 end without celebrating with the Barratarre community the completion of the much-needed replacement government dock.”

Additional works are being carried out throughout Exuma, inclusive of road paving and the completion of the much-anticipated Air Terminal Building at the Exuma International Airport, said Prime Minister Minnis.

An $8 million contract has been awarded to Caribbean Pavement Solutions for the repair and rehabilitation of roads in mainland Exuma. In Black Point, and a contract for Carriageway Rehabilitation valued at $1.4 million has been awarded to Carib Construction and Project Management.

Plans are also well on their way for the design and construction of the New Terminal Building and Crash Fire Rescue Building. Tender documents were issued and three bids were received.

The Terminal Building will accommodate multiple tenants, including Government regulatory agencies such as Customs and Immigration, the airlines, the Airport Authority and approximately 12 retail outlets. Included in the design are facilities for airport weather observation and radio communications similar to a smaller sized air traffic control tower.

Substantial improvements are also planned to the airside facilities, including a public aircraft apron, taxiway and runway reconstruction.

It is anticipated that construction of the terminal building and crash fire rescue building will commence in the first quarter of 2021, and the airside construction will begin in the second quarter of 2021, said the Prime Minister.