Safety First

Thursday, March 01, 2012

Meanwhile, Just Two Miles North ...

"The modernized swing bridge that is part of the Port Ferdinand beachfront marina development will transform the lives of everyone in the nearby fishing village of Six Men’s Bay.

The bridge, a private sector undertaking by prominent businessman Bjorn Bjerkham, is nearing completion and, according to residents of the St Peter community, it will impact either positively or negatively on them. Some believe that it will provide sparkle and boon to the area while others think it could adversely affect traffic into the fishing village.

Speaking to a DAILY NATION team that visited the northern district on Tuesday afternoon, one stall owner said the marina should have been a major state-of-the-art complex that should have included the local fishing community.

“The marina should have stretched down to the fishing village and could have been a major entertainment complex on a scale like Oistins,” she said.

The Port Ferdinand project in Six Men’s, St Peter, is one of the larger construction sites on the island where there has been ongoing activity. Construction of the 15-acre exclusive residential private marina began in December 2009 and is expected to be ready by the end of 2015.

The project, which should contribute to the country’s foreign direct investment once finished, is being undertaken in phases, the first of which should be completed by year-end.

Operations at Port Ferdinand, where 88 units and 123 berths are under construction, are being carried out by Jada Builders Inc.

A few fishermen believe that the marina may be responsible for the beach erosion in the fishing village. They charged that volcanic stones, which were dropped in the ocean just outside the marina, may be contributing to the erosion.

“It is pulling the sand away from here. This area cannot afford to have two marinas,” a fisherman said.

Matthew “The Pope” Small, a fisherman for nearly 40 years, said the marina could enhance the community.

“The marina that is being built is a good thing because it is attracting tourists and that can only be good for the country with the revenue that will come. It can’t affect traffic flow,” he said.

A female fish vendor said the work on the marina had been causing problems for her and her colleagues in Six Men’s Bay.

“This is months now that we had more dust than usual in Six Men’s Bay and it coincides with the construction of the marina at Port Ferdinand. It is worrying as we deal with food,” she said."

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