Sun | Aug 18, 2019

Port Royal development plans on track: PAJ

Published:Sunday | July 21, 2019 | 12:35 AM
Professor Gordon Shirley (left), president of the Port Authority of Jamaica, and Captain Delisser (second left), harbour master, inspect the SeaWalk’s control system, while Omar Elias (centre), SeaWalk project manager, and Ole Heggheim, partner, SeaWalk, look on. The SeaWalk is the floating cruise pier being constructed in Port Royal, Kingston.

It is a tight deadline, but president of the Port Authority of Jamaica (PAJ), Professor Gordon Shirley, is confident that the entity’s plan to create a cruise terminal in Port Royal, Kingston will be accomplished by the start of the 2019/20 cruise season.

Among the things to be done in the first phase of plans to develop Port Royal into Jamaica’s next cruise ship destination are:

1. A SeaWalk This is a floating berth which will serve as a crossover for passengers to move from the aircraft or cruise ship to the terminal facility.

2. A terminal – This will be located on nine acres of land acquired by the PAJ at the Old Coal Wharf. The main terminal will have a large open structure with accommodations for customs, immigration, public health and security operations. The terminal building will also have restroom accommodations for the guests.

The terminal will lead to a plaza with snack kiosks, retail shops, additional restrooms, a rest area and an indoor/outdoor restaurant facility.

There will also be a section for buses, taxis, and trams/trolleys that will transport guests to the historic areas in the town.

3. Fort Charles – the centerpiece of the historic district – will be revitalised and brought up to a premium level experience. The restoration of the Fort is intended to be a “must-visit” attraction in Port Royal.

4. Museum of Port Royal and a live archeological dig – this new building is to be constructed on the site of the old administrative buildings adjacent to Fort Charles.

FAQ

PAJ’s response to some of the common questions asked about the Port Royal development project:

Q. Will the Old Coal Wharf Terminal and the works in the historic district affect the water supply and sewage system in the town?

A. The PAJ has been working with the National Water Commission (NWC) on replacing the water main to the town from the new main serving the peninsula, which currently terminates at the Palisadoes roundabout. These works are expected to be completed in the 2019/20 fiscal year. The PAJ is working with the NWC to develop and implement a comprehensive sewage treatment solution for Port Royal, with implementation to commence in 2019/20.

Q. How will the Port Royal community and residents benefit from the works to be generated during construction and after construction?

A. The contractors on the construction projects to be undertaken by the PAJ will be instructed to ensure that suitably qualified workers from Port Royal receive the first priority in the assignment of work. The PAJ will be coordinating training sessions in association with HEART Trust and Jamaica Business Development Corporation to improve the skills of persons in the community who are interested in working as tour guides, storytellers, pedicab operators, store operators and craft producers and vendors.

Q. What plans are being considered for housing solutions in Port Royal?

A. The National Housing Trust has been mandated by the Ministry of Economic Growth and Job Creation to work with the Urban Development Corporation to address the housing situation in Port Royal.

Q. Will a ferry service be made available for use by cruise passengers and locals, and who will be responsible for offering the service?

A. The Port Authority supports the delivery of a ferry service through private participation. There is scope for offering excursions to the Cays and also to make connections to other areas of interest such as downtown Kingston, Portmore and the Norman Manley International Airport. A small craft jetty will be installed at the cruise ship facility to facilitate ferry service operations.