The BrandyWine Bay beach project is expected to be completed and functioning by November this year. In announcing the timeline, Deputy Premier and Minister for Natural Resources and Labour, Dr. the Hon. Kedrick Pickering said that he was hoping to have the beach open before summer, but noted that it would instead be ready for the next tourist season.
The plan to widen the BrandyWine Bay beach to provide a better swimming experience for residents and visitors has been pushed by government for many years. The project was first pitched during the 2003-2007 administration and then reintroduced in 2011, and it still is aimed at providing an alternative for cruiseship passengers and an option to foster entrepreneurial opportunities.
The project includes the construction of a pavilion for vendors; utility hut to house the control for the electrical and water infrastructure; revitalised restrooms; bus loading area for the unloading and reloading of passengers; and kiosks along the length of the beach for shade.
In providing an update during the 3 April edition of the NDP radio programme Hon. Pickering explained that the project was a little behind schedule: “We’d hoped to have it completed by the end of this tourist season, but we had some setbacks with respect to the dredging, which should resume in the next week or so; and this should take us to the end of that project. Certainly, by the next tourist season that beach will be fully functional and usable by visitors and locals alike.”
The Deputy Premier announced that a large part of the project has already been completed: “We’ve done a number of things on BrandyWine Bay Beach up to this point in time. We’ve removed the seaweed; we’ve removed the silt, and we’ve been able to dredge sand from the waters surrounding the beach and expand the beach. We’ve also been able to complete the silt trap from the Ghut. If you pass by there you will see we’ve done a major job to ensure that, when you have heavy water flow, the water can filter from the Ghut instead of running directly into the beach.”
“We have finished pretty much of the first phase which was to widen the beach, to help remove most of the silt that was at the bottom of the beach – which made the beach itself non-functional, because if you went into the water you would’ve found that you were sinking. Then there were other areas of the beach where seaweed was very prominent, and made it very difficult for beach lovers to be able to enjoy,” Hon. Pickering further noted.
As it relates to the second phase the Minister pointed out that this segment will see the installation of concession stands and walkway: “One of the big issues there is to ensure that we put in a sidewalk along the entire length of the beach, which will be important for pedestrian traffic, but also for the vendors that will be using the beach to have access to the beach from the roadside. Once that is complete, we are going to then start putting up the concession stands, which will then make the beach itself usable for the purposes for which it is intended,” he added.