Dredging work on the North Channel that will allow Bermuda to accommodate the largest cruise liners in the industry has been completed, more than two weeks ahead of schedule.

The three-strong fleet of specialised vessels, which has moved more than 100,000 cubic yards of aggregate from the seabed to the South Basin, is expected to leave the Island later this week bound for Panama.

The operation was expected to take about a month, however the crews have worked around the clock making good progress and finished the job within two weeks of work beginning on October 27.

Joe Simas, vice-president of marine operations for the Meyer Group of Companies, told The Royal Gazette that the project had gone very smoothly.

“All the work has been completed well ahead of schedule,” he added.

“The suction dredger Niccolo Machiavelli along with two splithopper barges Astrolabe and Boussole will now be mobilised and go back to Panama after this successful dredging operation.”

The dredging work has involved deepening and widening specific sections of the North Channel as well as The Narrows off St George’s.

The material from the dredge operation has been landed at the South Basin for the America’s Cup Village project.

Andrew Dias, general manager of the West End Development Corporation, said: “As the operation has just been completed the final confirmed numbers have not yet been presented however it is safe to say approximately 100,000 cubic yards has been deposited.

“Overall the operation was a success and done well under the projected time schedule.”

The bulk carrier, Balder, is expected to return to Bermuda on Friday to bring in the second of seven shipments of granite aggregate that will also be used in the South Basin project.

The story appeared in The Royal Gazette on November 10t, 2015.

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