Tourists and locals adapt to the seafront construction site in Monaco
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Extension Monaco construction
Source: Nice Matin

Tourists and locals adapt to the seafront construction site in Monaco

In spite of all the precautions taken, tourists are still adapting as best they can to the situation according to Monaco Matin.

There are no grumbles or official complaints (so far). Less than five months after launching the inaugural phase of the massive works which will allow the Principality to gain six hectares of seafront, tourists, residents and traders are, for the moment, waiting. All are unanimous in saying that authorities have taken their situations into account. A meeting was organized last March to present the project to expand the Grimaldi Forum, create parking lots and a luxury district, accompanied by a new marina. “We were satisfied with this interview but we remain worried about the continuity of our activity because of the nuisances. We are hoping for help from the government,” said the head of a Larvotto facility, who prefers to remain anonymous.

“Regular inspections

According to our information, no complaint has been officially filed by traders or local residents about any nuisances. But the mood is obvious, one of undeniable worry. For some, living and working in front of a construction site of this magnitude is not ideal. Several people encountered on the beach evoke a troubled and annoyed disposition. A Russian mother, accustomed to the place, fears the residue she observed on the surface of the water. “I cannot bathe my baby here and I will not come back next year,” said the tourist.  A finding uncontested by Philippe Jean, director of operations for Bouygues Public works, the prime contractor. Strong winds recorded at the beginning of last week “may be the cause,” explains the former co-director for the construction site at the Tangier-Med port.

“Regular inspections are being carried out between the two natural reserves at the Larvotto and Pelagos Basin in order to manage potential nuisances,” he added. “We completed the first phase of our operations on 28 June, forty-eight hours before the original date.” Preparing the bottom of the new district requires a period of dredging with bucket dredgers. This process makes it possible to create a flat surface twenty meters below sea level.

Vigilance at sea and on land

The quality of the water is tested once a week by experts at the ‘Direction de l’Environment’, as well as on Tuesdays and Thursdays by Bouygues Public Works. Double surveillance which “minimizes any inconvenience,” according to Christophe Hirsinger, project manager, who supports the installation of eighteen caissons, 10,000 tons each, delivered by boat “for ecological reasons”. Management from the French construction group proposed, to the government, erecting an anti-noise wall along the Portier cove. Vibration sensors are placed at the rear. To reduce the visual and noise nuisances for the residents. The completion of the foundations is projected for the end of 2020.

Questions for Christophe Hirsinger: “Temporary breaks in construction, depending on weather conditions

The project manager insisted that Bouygues Public Works take daily measures to minimize the nuisance.

What measures are you putting in place to minimize the nuisance?

The system is extensive, measuring the quality of the water at least twice a week, near the construction zones, but also in Fontvieille. We carry out checks of turbidity, temperature, currents. We have taken care to move the protected aquatic fauna in the natural parks. An acoustic wall was erected from the Louis-II tunnel to the entrance of the Larvotto beach. Sensors placed at the rear assess the noise emanating from the construction site. We apply temporary measures when necessary.

Such as temporarily stopping works when there is a force majeure

We may be tempted to temporarily halt the activity on the site depending on climatic conditions. We had to do so for a few hours last week because of storms at sea.  The gear was placed in a sheltered place for the safety of our employees and summer visitors, on land and at sea.

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Next steps at the construction site

From September 2017: dredging of polluted sediments at the bottom of the Portier cove began at the end of June and will continue until the start of the school year. “We are on time” in amassing the 500,000 m3, says the project director for Bouygues Public Works. The sediments will then be submerged one hundred or two hundred meters in depth, four kilometers from the Principality. Once the seabed is “clean” at the site of the infrastructure, creating the embankment can begin. The operation will last eight months with 2.4 million tons of materials, which will be transported by seaway.

October 2017: This date will mark the beginning of construction for eighteen caissons, weighing 10,000 tons each, in Marseilles. These blocks are 40 meters at the base, 30 meters at the top,  26 meters high and will constitute the extension’s belt. Their delivery is scheduled for March 2019. The platform is expected to be completed in November 2020.

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