C.O.H. CEO Dwayne Caines Updates Public on Infrastructure Projects in City of Hamilton

As the CEO mentioned, there’s a lot happening in Hamilton….And I’m excited to provide you with updates on some of the key projects we have in the pipeline.

Let’s start with Spurling Hill. This is a significant project that will involve the installation of a new traffic light system at the Spurling Hill junction. This upgrade is essential as many replacement parts for the current system are no longer available. While this will cause some disruption for commuters, we are working hard to minimize any inconvenience.

Works are tentatively scheduled to commence on the weekend of Saturday, May 4th, and will continue for approximately five to six weeks. During this time, a comprehensive Traffic Management Plan will be in place to manage traffic flow and minimize disruption to motorists. We advise commuters to avoid the junction if possible, and we will keep the public updated on any developments through our extensive communications strategy. However, the Cavendish Car Park will remain open and accessible at all times.

Next, I’ll talk briefly about the Fort Hamilton Restoration Project.

The Fort Hamilton Restoration Project aims to enhance Fort Hamilton and its surrounding amenities, ensuring its preservation for future generations.

Proposed works will include the installation of a new pergola shade structure, lighting, catering kitchen, wifi installation, improved security measures, and interpretive signage, among other enhancements.

We have already made progress with the removal of invasive plant species, and significant works will commence shortly pending the necessary permits.

It’s been a fascinating undertaking, we found masonry which we didn’t know existed, as it had been covered in foliage. Some of what we found was so significant that it has changed designs for the renovations so that we can show off these newly discovered architectural details.Innovative 3D survey work is also underway.

Our collaboration with the Bermuda National Trust has been integral to this process, and we are excited to shortly be able to share some interesting findings from the preliminary archaeological exploration of the site. For example, we have uncovered the buried remains of 19thcentury outhouse structures that connected to the guard room at the fort entrance.

Fort Hamilton is a stunning piece of Bermuda’s heritage and a fascinating chapter in the story of Bermuda’s military history which we feel should be preserved, enhanced and restored. It’s also a great event space which can be better utilized so that its story can be more fully appreciated.

Fort Hamilton is currently closed to the public and will remain closed until work is completed.

Moving on now to the Church Street junction redesign project

The traffic light system on Church Street between Queen Street and Burnaby Hill isalmost four decades old and needs to be replaced, as is the case with Spurling Hill.

As you are aware, we recently conducted a public consultation to gather feedback on the proposed improvements to this area. We received some excellent feedback, and it was encouraging to see public engagement so high. This grassroots level of consultation was crucial for us, and I thank the public for their engagement.

The proposed changes aim to improve traffic flow, enhance pedestrian safety, and upgrade the overall public experience of Hamilton. These four traffic lights will work in concert allowing for a better traffic experience.

This project presents an opportunity for us to not only improve traffic management but also to enhance the urban design of the area, creating a more vibrant and inviting space for everyone.

We are entering the next phase of this project which involves reviewing all the feedback received and testing our conceptual plans. For example, we want to carry out additional traffic counts and trip duration studies to quantitatively describe how traffic patterns and congestion will change through this section of Church Street.

We likely won’t break ground on this project until 2025 and as such, plans are still open to change.

Another important project which is currently underway is the replacement of a sewer line along Bermudiana Road. The current sewer line at that location is over 100 years old and in need of replacement to prevent health and safety concerns. We are advising commuters to be aware of potential bus diversions and alternative cycle parking arrangements in the areawhich may be found at Gorham Road, Par La Ville Road, Front Street, Par La Ville Car Park and surrounding areas. Work hours will be between 7:30am and 4:00pm daily Monday to Friday. Outdoor dining along Bermudiana Road is suspended for the duration of works.

This year we are also invested in major upgrades to the City’s wastewater infrastructure to prevent the discharge of solids into the ocean. The implementation of two fine-mesh screening machines at the Front Street Wastewater Treatment Plant will significantly reduce the amount of suspended solids entering the ocean, contributing to a cleaner and healthier environment for all, by will removing a significant percentage of suspended solids from the City’s wastewater. They will prevent the equivalent of a large dumpster of solids a day from going into our ocean. It will also lead to a significant reduction in the amount of macro and micro plastics entering the ocean at the South Shore outfall.

This project is something which has been in the works for some time, and we are pleased it is finally coming to fruition. Once the required permits are in place, we will tender the project and proceed with construction.

Meanwhile, right in our own backyard, structural investigations at City Hall earlier this year identified vulnerabilities with the foyer ceiling, which will be replaced as part of ongoing renovation works. Issues are primarily due to the age of the building. The project initially started on April 1, and will run for a duration of six weeks. Access to City Hall and the Art Galleries will remain, with signage in place to guide visitors throughout the project.

Lastly, I want to commend our team for their work on the installation of vehicle charging stations in Bull’s Head car park which aims to provide convenient and accessible charging infrastructure for electric vehicles (EVs) to support the growing demand for sustainable transportation within the city.

By expanding access to charging infrastructure, businesses and communities can encourage the adoption of electric vehicles and contribute to a cleaner and more sustainable transportation ecosystem.

Our in-house team members collaborated seamlessly to plan, coordinate, and execute the installation of the vehicle charging stations, which is reflective of their professionalism, competence, and dedication to advancing our organization’s sustainability goals.

In conclusion, these projects demonstrate our commitment to preserving Bermuda’s heritage, enhancing public spaces, and promoting sustainability. We will continue to work to ensure the success of these initiatives for the benefit of our community and future generations.

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