BASSETERRE, St. Kitts - WORK to upgrade the beach at the Frigate Bay Strip is ongoing, forcing officials to close the area to swimming activities until completion in the middle of January.
The upgrading work comes at a time when the Federation is preparing to reopen its borders to tourists, and Minister of Tourism Lindsay Grant is brushing aside criticisms that the work is being undertaken at the most inopportune time.
“I don’t have a problem with the critics…What you would recognise is that everything takes money and money is not easy to come by in this period, and so we have been juggling. In addition to that, we want to do some work to ensure that the final product is what St. Kitts and Nevis can be proud of,” he clarified.
Minister Grant was at the time responding to a SKNVibes News question during a media tour of the ongoing work at the Frigate Bay Strip.
According to the Minister, it is an extension of existing work currently being carried out at the popular hangout location in St. Kitts.
“It is essentially to upgrade the beach and, as you would have heard, we are going to get a longer beach, a wider beach, and a beach more pleasing on the feet of the swimmers who come here daily.
“We felt it necessary because it is one of the iconic beaches in St. Kitts and Nevis and we must preserve it.”
The multi-million dollar project will assist in alleviating challenges facing the bars on the Strip and swimmers on a daily basis.
Greg Williams, Employers Representative from the Ministry of Tourism, explained that the project, which started earlier this month and would run through the middle of January, would see the beach being closed for the duration of the work.
Currently, thousand-ton boulders are aligned on the beach to be placed on the bed of the sea in order to facilitate the upgrading work.
He gave SKNVibes and insight on what the project entails.
“We are doing a three-part process where we are installing the offshore breakwater…in the center and southern portion of the beach. As it is right now, the northern portion of the beach is the only portion that you can use.
“The second step is for the onshore growing where we are doing three growings, and that is basically to anchor the beach once it is nourished; and, basically, to stop the movement of the sand sediments from the south to the north.
“The final step is the beach nourishment process, which, of course, is dredging sand and pumping sand, widening the beach, he explained.
Williams stated that the project is being undertaken by local contractors Rock and Dirt and the St. Kitts Marine Works, “and that augers well for us in St. Kitts and Nevis”.