Recently the Government signed the contract for the first phase of this programme of works which entails the upgrading and rebuilding of the Rock Revetment that protects the Reclamation in the area of the Westside.
Gibralter, Reclamation in the area of the Westside. This contract was awarded to Van Oord (Gibraltar) Limited in the sum of 3.5 million Euros. This is the first of 4 contracts, with an overall cost of approximately 9.3 million Euros. This first contract relates to the area of the Promenade.
History of the Matter.
A severe storm on the 10th and 11th October 2008 caused extensive damage to a substantial part of the rock revetments at the Westside area of Gibraltar. Emergency works to temporarily stabilise the structure were successfully carried out immediately.
The Government requested investigations and studies to determine the causes and extent of the failure of the existing revetments and to establish the longer term implications of this incident for health and safety and structural stability. The reports confirmed that the wave climate in the Bay of Gibraltar had been very significantly changed as a result of the extensive harbour construction works at Algeciras, especially its long vertical quay wall facing Gibraltar. These Algeciras harbour works have caused storm wave reflections resulting in a substantial increase of wave height in Gibraltar Waters, especially in the Westside area, where wave heights have, at some
locations been increased by more than 50%, and generally by about 40%, especially in easterly wind generated extreme storms.
The rock revetment, which protects the Westside Reclamation was simply not designed and built to resist these wave conditions, which were not foreseeable at that time. The Government was therefore advised that the task was not one of simply replacing what was there before and restoring the promenade on the top of it. Rather, it was necessary that all harbour revetments be redesigned, upgraded and rebuilt to different and higher specifications to withstand the new wave conditions that have been created in the Bay by the Algeciras Harbour expansion. This involves around £8.5 million of cost. Not only has it been necessary to conduct investigations into the extent and causes of the problem in order to identify effective solutions, but it has also been necessary to design and procure the extensive remedial works. This has necessarily taken a significant length of time.
The Programme of Works
These extensive civil engineering works have been divided into four phases, as follows:
(1) Revetment adjacent to New Harbours (underneath the promenade). This is the contract that has now been awarded. Works begin immediately, and will be complete in April 2010, after which the Promenade can be restored on top of it.
(2) The revetment at the corner of the Europlaza Building;
(3) The revetment outside the harbour, at the North West Corner of the North Mole,
near the Port Authority Offices;
(4) The revetment along Europort and the Rowing Clubs.
The revetment at the reclamation for the new rental housing project was designed and
built to the new required higher specification and thus was not damaged by the storm, and
needs no remedial works.
All phases are expected to be completed by December 2010. Holistic Approach
In order to maximise the value to taxpayers of this significant and unenvisaged
expenditure, the Government is undertaking feasibility studies into carrying out additional
projects in the vicinity which would result in:-
A new land reclamation inside the harbour;
A new local small boats marina;
The ability to remove the rubble mountain between Eastern Beach and Catalan
The creation of a builder’s rubble processing plant to convert it into reuseable
building material, and avoid the present disposal and dumping problem.
A spokesman at No 6 said:
“Those who wrongly believe that the Government has unnecessarily delayed these works
have simply misunderstood the gravity, scale and remedial cost of the problems that were
caused by the storm in October last year – and the implications for the future. It is not a
case of “taking a year to fix the promenade” as some ill informed commentators have said.
The Government is proud of its creation of the Westside Promenade, which was its very
first decision after being elected in May 1996, when it cancelled a property development
scheme on the whole of that site, that had been approved by the previous Government
and which would have created a continuous wall of buildings and landlocked the whole
reclamation area. Instead, the GSD Government created the promenade for the benefit of
nearby residents and the whole community. The Government is therefore as keen as
anybody to restore the promenade. But this is not possible until the revetments have been
redesigned, upgraded and rebuilt.”
Picture: Carstino Delmonte/ Touristikpresse.net