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Caisson being transported on a truck
Caisson being transported on a truck.

300+ Caissons to Be Installed as Port Construction Continues

The Port Development Project has reached another major milestone with the transportation of the first set of reinforced concrete caissons from the manufacturing site in Piper’s Pond to the site of the future pier.

According to a government release on the project, transportation of about 320 caissons began on Tuesday, March 19 and will be an ongoing aspect of this project.

Caisson Transport Route map
Caisson Transport Route map

The caissons are large concrete block structures, which each measure 4m by 6.5m serve as the foundational elements for the upcoming pier construction.

The Port Development Project team explained that the caissons will be stacked one on top of the other in two rows (as depicted by the red rectangles shown on the Caisson Transport Route map image). The next step, after tidying up work is conducted in the water in front of the causeway, would be placing temporary caissons into the water to signal the start of the construction of the pier.

Image depicting how the Caissons will be stacked in the water
Image depicting how the Caissons will be stacked in the water.

Transportation of caissons from Piper’s Pond along the W. Griffith Drive taking a left at the Little Bay roundabout and down to the Montserrat Port Authority, is expected to be a daily activity and will affect traffic in the area.

Each trip would take approximately five to ten minutes depending on traffic, the release noted.

“Once the caisson production rate increases, more information would be provided to the general public in terms of delays and potential diversions. Motorists are therefore asked not to park along the side of the main road heading into the Port Authority in the vicinity of Dre’s Chill Out Spot and the other businesses. This is to ensure unimpeded traffic flow for both motorists and caisson transport,” the release noted.

The Port Development Project team says the contractor, Meridian Construction “endeavours to transport them outside of peak traffic hours as much as possible, though the occasional exceptions may occur.”

The public is asked to be understanding of the disruption and to drive with due care and attention when encountering the caissons being transported through the Little Bay area.

The Montserrat Port Development Project is expected to improve the efficiency, effectiveness and resilience of the port facilities to provide a safe harbour and accessibility to all users. The 130m port is financed by the United Kingdom CIF through the Caribbean Development Bank, the European Union and the Government of Montserrat.