June 5, 2008 — The West Indian Co. will start work Saturday on the third and last phase of strengthening its 3,150-foot dock so the mammoth new cruise ships setting sail in 2009 can tie up.
"We'll replace the old sheet piling and put in brand new concrete," Edward Thomas, WICO's president and chief executive officer said Thursday.
The project began in 1996 when WICO did a similar job on the end of the dock closest to Yacht Haven. The second phase involved the far end of the dock. Now, crews will work on the 436-foot middle section.
Thomas said that work should be done earlier than the Nov. 30 deadline, but he's making allowances for bad weather.
"We have to do it now when there's less traffic," he said.
The new class of ships expected to utilize the dock starting in 2009 are called the Genesis class. Thomas said they weigh 220,000 tons, a lot heavier than the current largest ships that weigh in at 160,000 tons.
Work on the last phase of the dock strengthening will be done by Misener Marine Construction Inc. between 6 a.m. and 6 p.m. daily. Thomas urged mariners and marine interests to use caution when in the area.
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