Falling apart: section of the Woodbridge Bay Port showing areas which need immediate attention

Local activist and businessman Jerry Brisbane has pointed out the noticeable decay and wear at the Woodbridge Bay Port jetty and has made a plea for immediate remedial or comprehensive repair works to be undertaken, particularly in the northern sections of the facility.

Brisbane cited a 1999 report by Lee Young and Caribbean Consulting Engineering which indicated that barring immediate remedial work on the port, the expected lifespan of the facility was 15 years. “That was 12 years ago,” Brisbane said.

He continued, “One key recommendation of the report was to do concrete casings around the steel piles and that has, so far, not been done.”

Brisbane also expressed fear that it may be too late for these repairs to be done today.

Port Manager, Benoit Bardouille declined to comment on the issue today but last week on Q95’s “The Hot Seat” he indicated that he was well aware of the current state of the port and said that tonnage restrictions have been imposed on certain sections of the establishment.

Decaying beams

He stated, “There have been two areas pointed out in various studies undertaken, that was of some concern and what we have is restrictions in relation to weight within those particular areas. One of the areas is not an area of much concern because it is not an area where load transfers take place. However, in terms of the movement we will restrict heavy equipment moving over that area if it’s over a certain tonnage.”

Bardouille also indicated that a phased approach to modernize the port structure is currently underway and should be completed by the end of September. He also said that there are no other areas of the port that needed attention and based on more recent studies and reviews of Woodbridge Bay there are need for repairs.

“We are cognizant of the fact that there are needs for refurbishment and we are undertaking that in a phased manner. We are putting in place methods to remedy the situation. We are trying to ensure that we can continue to have the major port of Dominica open throughout,” Bardouille remarked.

The Woodbridge Bay Port was built in 1976 and extended by 300ft in 1989.