Rising from the South Basin, Bermuda’s newest landmass and soon-to-be-home for the America’s Cup Village is a hive of activity.

Construction crews, asphalt teams and heavy machinery operators are working around the clock, seven days a week, to ensure that Cross Island will meet its mid-May deadline in preparation for the sailing spectacle.

Scores of workers from a dozen Bermudian firms are presently involved in the multimillion dollar development, which project managers say will be brought in on schedule.

“Last week, 38 containers with the structure of the Club America’s Cup building arrived in Dockyard,” Shane Rowe, head of operations and infrastructure for ACBDA, said.

“The containers, which originated in Brazil, are in quarantine on-site at present, but as soon as they are cleared in about two weeks’ time, then work can begin on the Club building.

“Meanwhile, next week, we have a further 40 containers of grandstands and stages arriving; they will be stored on Moresby Field until we start erecting them.”

Parts of Cross Island have already been tarmacked in preparation for the construction of the Red Bull Youth America’s Cup headquarters and the Emirates Team New Zealand team base that will begin at the beginning of next month.

While the asphalting continues, contractors will also start on the Club building; the main hospitality arena for the event, that will look directly out to The Great Sound over the racecourse.

Project manager Richard Noel from BCM McAlpine’s told The Royal Gazette: “The island’s infrastructure is about 80 per cent complete; underground services like water, power and waste water have been installed, but there is still some work to do.

“October’s hurricane did have an effect on the schedule, but a lot of the damage was cosmetic and required a clear-up operation rather than anything else. All in all, the island stood up well. It was a good test of the work that has been done.

“It’s going well. We have had our challenges along the way, just like any construction project, but we have worked with the ACEA, the ACBDA and Government to get through them.”

The land reclamation phase of the project involved about 140,000 cubic yards of dredged material from the North Channel and 160,000 cubic yards of imported crushed granite being deposited in the South Basin.

The aggregate was spread across a nine-acre area and held in position by vast sheet piles that were driven into the seabed to form the boundary of the new island.

Power lines and sewage pipes as well as other infrastructure have been installed in recent months, and work to raise the South Arm, which will provide the backbone to the superyacht berths, is ongoing.

The bridge linking the island with the mainland has been completed, as has the protective splash wall, while Land Rover BAR is expected to officially open its base in the coming weeks

Next month, construction of the Groupama Team France base will begin, while Artemis Racing will move up to their new, smaller base on Cross Island from Morgan’s Point in April.

Mr Noel added: “We are 90 per cent there now. But, the last 10 per cent always seems to take the longest time.

“We expect it to come together quickly from here and finish on schedule.”


Read this article on Royal Gazette here: http://www.royalgazette.com/news/article/20170118/ac-village-takes-shape-on-cross-island