Airport gangs will work into the night for the next few weeks to force a way through rocks that are blocking completion of St Helena’s new haul road.
Heavy construction vehicles are stranded in Rupert’s Valley, unable to get through to the airport site, until contractor Basil Read has completed the last few hundred metres of the 14-kilometre route.
The vehicles were landed on 11 July 2012, on the first ship ever to dock at St Helena. They included a 70-tonne excavator that is now being used to help cut the road.
The work was expected to take only two weeks, but consent has now been given for gangs to work until two o’clock in the morning – up to 21 September 2012 – to catch up with the airport construction schedule.
A statement from St Helena Government says:
“Basil Read has encountered rocky outcrops in this last section in Upper Ruperts, which has slowed down progress.
“Following consultation with Ruperts’ residents, permission has been granted for Basil Read to work extended hours on the access track in Upper Ruperts.
“No blasting operations are planned outside of daylight hours, but the works with the excavation equipment will continue into the hours of darkness. The area will be well-lit, using portable lighting, and all appropriate safety measures will be taken.
“The extended working hours will allow Basil Read to keep to scheduled completion of the access track. This is a priority under the Airport Project in order for the plant to be taken to Prosperous Bay Plain – to start the main construction works there.”
Work will permitted from 7am to 2am on weekdays, and until 6pm on Saturdays, with no work on Sundays.
Basil Read has established a complaints line for all Ruperts residents.