Studies on a blue hole found near to the site of the North Abaco Port, just north of Cooper’s Town, have been the cause of some delays to progress according to North Abaco Minister of Parliament and Parliamentary Secretary, Renardo Curry.
Work was stopped at the North Abaco Port project in mid-October due to “environmental concerns” and there has since been the discovery of a blue hole.
According to the Senior Project Engineer for the government, Francis Clarke of Caribbean Civil Group Limited, after the discovery of the blue hole, the Bahamas Environmental, Science and Technology (BEST) Commission required a geological study be conducted on the karst system (underground caves) to ensure there is no impact from the construction of the port.
Mr. Clarke said these studies have been completed and are currently being reviewed by the BEST Commission, but noted that a “preliminary view of the report has been favourable,” and he expects that work will continue shortly.
“We will meet with BEST shortly and chart the way for construction as we move forward,” he said.
Mr. Clarke also noted that BEST would carry out another test related to the blue hole feature. “The pertinence of the study is to see if there is any relationship between the blue hole and the creek system found at the site,” he said.
He said that this study would not impact China Harbour Engineering Company’s (CHEC) ability to resume work at the site, but based on the results there might be modifications to the design to ensure proper tidal flow to the creek system is not impacted.
The North Abaco Port Project was announced to have started in May of 2014 but faced a number of delays as well as starts and stops while waiting for permits and addressing a few environmental concerns.