Ministry of Public Housing, Environment, Spatial Development and Infrastructure (VROMI) has announced that construction of the floodgates will halt on December 19, and resume the second week of January.
“The floodgates are due to arrive in January from the Netherlands,” stated Project Leader Raymond Chittick, “and the project is estimated to be completed by the end of March. The works are progressing smoothly and according to schedule despite minor intervention of rain,” he added.
The Floodgates Expansion Project commenced in November and the old floodgates were demolished on December 9 which cleared the way for excavation for the placing of culverts, which will lead water flows from the fresh pond to the salt pond and reversed considering the conditions.
Further works included the rerouting of GEBE NV 8 inch water line’ which was extended unto the A.Th. Illidge Road. The reinforced columns were poured and the reinforced walls are currently near completion, which will be backfilled.
All utility companies, mainly GEBE and TELEM are pending review of their cables before the contractor can close the trench. Negotiation is in progress to widen and extend the trench in order to facilitate the volumes of water from the fresh pond to the Great Salt Pond. The current connection from the new trench and the existing one differ in size which may operate as a bottle neck if not adjusted.
Both ponds naturally operate as a basin for water flows from the Cul De Sac areas during heavy rain fall. The Great Salt Pond being lower than the Fresh Pond, holds more water and therefore the floodgates will direct water from the Fresh Pond to the Great Salt Pond 95% of the time. Reversed operation will only take place in extreme flooding when the ponds are equal to sea levels during which the floodgates will be opened to alleviate flooding.