The first phase of Cross Island – the land reclamation project in Dockyard – has been completed ahead of schedule and on budget. This marks a major milestone in Bermuda’s deliverables for the 35th America’s Cup.
While the infill phase has been completed, the next part of the project involves installing the infrastructure, including electricity, water, sewage and telecommunications before the new nine-acres of land is handed over to the America’s Cup Event Authority, who will create the Event Village for the 35th America’s Cup. The overall village site will also hold the team bases for Land Rover BAR and Groupama Team France, alongside the bases for ORACLE TEAM USA and SoftBank Team Japan, which have been operational for some time. Emirates Team New Zealand and Artemis Racing will have bases on Cross Island and the Red Bull Youth America’s Cup, the media centre and the various hospitality facilities will also be located on the infill site.
Peter Durhager, Chairman, ACBDA, says, “The Cross Island project was a collaborative effort between the stakeholders of America’s Cup Bermuda, WEDCO, Ministry of Public Works, Planning Department, our Construction Managers BCM McAlpine and a range of vendors and contractors, local and international. It wouldn’t have been possible to complete a project of this scale ahead of schedule and on budget without the concerted effort of these agencies. On behalf of the ACBDA, I would like to thank everyone who was involved in helping us to achieve this significant milestone.”
The project began last November when a portion of the South Basin was filled with seven shiploads of granite. The aggregate came to the island on the MV Balder, a specialised ship that allowed the fill material to be offloaded by conveyer belt into the South Basin.
The total amount was 310,000 cubic yards of aggregate - 165,000 cubic yards of granite from a quarry in New Brunswick and 145,000 cubic yards from last year’s dredging project by Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines (RCCL). That project was part of multi-year contract between Bermuda Tourism Authority and RCCL to accommodate large RCCL cruise ship visits to Dockyard.
The Balder was one of the largest vessels to have ever sailed into the South Basin and the process involved two highly specialized tractor tugs to assist the vessel entering and departing. The tugs were assisted by staff from the Department of Marine and Ports.
Dr. Grant Gibbons, Minister of Economic Development, said, “This milestone shows what Bermuda can accomplish when we set our minds to a task and work together. I congratulate and thank everyone involved in ensuring that Bermuda honours our commitments. We are proud of our relationship and partnership with the America’s Cup and look forward to welcoming the remaining America’s Cup teams, sponsors, fans and visitors for the 35th America’s Cup.”
The infrastructure portion of the project is expected to be completed by the end of the year, with the Event Village taking shape soon after. While the first use of the space will be for the America’s Cup, a process is underway to ensure the long-term deployment of this land by WEDCO for lasting legacy and value.
Andrew Dias, General Manager, WEDCO, says, “This project had been in the pipeline for quite some time and its completion is a dream come true for WEDCO. Our focus going forward is to create a lasting legacy for Cross Island. We have received hundreds of submissions as part of our long-term strategic planning for the further development and use of this wonderful waterfront resource following the America’s Cup and I look forward to helping to make some of those ideas reality.”