NASSAU, The Bahamas – Minister of Transport and Aviation the Hon. Glenys Hanna-Martin took a tour with stakeholders and the media to see the plans to re-develop the Eastern End of Potter’ Cay Dock, Thursday, March 26, 2015.
Before the tour, Minister Hanna-Martin explained that the Government has allocated $3,122,989.00 for the re-development project, and it is a product of private and public sector involvement with many of the ideas for the re-development coming from the mailboat operators and various governmental agencies.
The Minister explained that the Dock is an historic facility that has undergone significant changes over the years. “It has evolved into a unique multi-use space featuring recreational, native dining, commercial ferries, produce exchange, seed and fertilizer depot, fish-market and hosting the iconic mailboat system. “It is now a major social and commercial spot, where thousands of Bahamians and an increasing number of foreign nationals visit and work.”
Minister Hanna-Martin said Potter’s Cay Dock also is home to the historic Potter’s Cay Battery, which was built under the governorship of Governor Tinker. It had eight guns trained on the northern harbour. The Battery will be restored with the help of The Antiquities, Monuments and Museum Corporation.
The Minister said the growth of Potter’s Cay Dock has not been without problems. “It is largely undermanaged, crowded and congested with the infrastructure badly in need of repair. She said, “The causeway is buckling, potable water is a challenge, and some vendor huts are dilapidated.
“Security is a challenging issue. As a dock that handles local maritime traffic, commercial and personal, the Police are constantly refining their strategies to confront criminal elements who wish to disrupt the peace on the Cay.”
The Project to re-develop Potter’s Cay Dock will be conducted in three over-lapping phases.
Minister Hanna-Martin explained that Phase I involves the removal and relocation of trees on the southern foreshore to create a parking area, which will extend to Williams Street. “It is important that the parking area is created early in the process, since in Phase 3, the Causeway, after it is repaired and its support enhanced, will be restricted to pedestrian traffic and delivery vehicles only.”
She said simultaneously, work will proceed on the removal of debris, delinquent vessels, and unwanted material and equipment discarded by mailboat operators and others over the years. Notices have been sent out repeatedly to have these removed.
During Phase 2 of the Project, the Minister said renovation and extension of the fish farm store will begin; it will be extended by some 150 feet to accommodate mailboat operators and agents. The extension will accommodate freight holdings, bulkhead curbings, passenger waiting area and bathrooms will be installed.
The Bahamas Electricity Corporation’s transformer will be relocated to enable the establishment of security checkpoints to monitor and control access to the mailboat area. Permanent curbs will be erected at the end of the dock as a safety measure.
In the final phase, the causeway will be repaired and rehabilitated. The dock entry will be widened. Sidewalks, striping, signage, drainage wells and additional landscaping will be installed. The phase will also result in the complete redirecting of traffic to the general parking area.
The project is expected to be completed by late 2016.
Minister Hanna-Martin said, “the re-development of the Eastern End of Potter’s Cay will result in a new experience for Bahamians and visitors who call on this area for business and recreation. It will require additional electrical and water supply and telecommunicative infrastructure to meet the anticipated demand. The utility companies, along with the Ministry of Works and Urban Development are presently completing pre-work assessments.”