• Shurooq receives bids for $95mn resort
• Bahrain Airport Company signs MoU for new
• Aksal group inks deal for new mall in
• Cities of Luanda and Lobito, Angola, to be
linked by motorway
• Saudi Arabia awards deal for Butterfly Dome
• Bahrain re-assesses feasibility of $52mn
theme park project
• EIB lends €3.5bn for construction projects
• Skanska to construct £165m new Papworth
Hospital in Cambridge
• $660m in project funding secured for 100
MW Xina Solar One
• Tanzania dreams big with port project at
former slave harbour
• R16.5bn biofuel plants won't affect food
• Coal miner Murray to gain control of rival
• Egypt Signs U.S.$12 Billion Deal With British
Energy Giant BP
• Coega unveils plans for Cargo Airport
• Prison security improved following 2013
• Highland Park continues to study boat ramp
Shurooq receives bids for $95mn resort development
The master-planned luxury project will spread across 261,000 square and will
comprise of three components: the fort, the hilltown and town square. The
development is projected to be completed in Q3 2017
Article only available on BNC
Bahrain Airport Company signs MoU for new fuel farm
Bahrain Airport Company and Nogaholding have announced plans to launch a
joint venture for the operation of a new fuel farm complex at Bahrain
International Airport. The JV will supervise all aspects of the design and
construction of the complex.
Article only available on BNC
Aksal group inks deal for new mall in Morocco
Aksal Group, a Moroccan leader in retail, luxury goods, department stores and
shopping malls, has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Wessal
Capital for developing a new shopping mall in Rabat, Morocco.
Cities of Luanda and Lobito, Angola, to be linked by motorway
A new bridge over the Kwanza River in the National Road 100, begins to be
built this year to allow greater fluidity in the road between Luanda and
southern Angola, in the coastal route, said Director General of Roads Institute
António Resende said that the new bridge will have four lanes, two in each
direction, and ability to support vehicles up to 100 tons, with the site to be
cleared and cleared for the installation of the yard.
The Director-General of Angola Roads Institute said that the current link
between Luanda and Lobito, passing around the city of Sumbe, will give way
to a highway, "since there have already capacity to support traffic which is
recorded daily. "
The construction of the highway will be built in phases, "because of its length
and high cost", with the first phase starting from the bridge over the Kwanza
to Porto Amboim and the second phase to Sumbe "and so on until you finish
The National Highway 100 currently passing through the inside of various
locations, such as Porto Amboim, Sumbe and Lobito, which has caused many
constraints on road traffic.
The current bridge Kwanza bar will continue to work, but only for internal
traffic of Luanda, António Resende needed.
In addition to the construction of the new bridge over the Kwanza River, will
be also built two other bridges with motorway profile on Long Queve and
rivers, but smaller, in that the first has four miles long and the other two 1200
Saudi Arabia awards deal for Butterfly Dome
Riyadh, Saudi Arabia:
Saudi BinLadin Group has been awarded the contract for the construction of
the Butterfly Dome at King Abdullah Financial District in Saudi Arabia. The
glass bubble outfitted with a tropical climate will be a unique public attraction
located at the heart of the financial district.
The project worth approximately USD 35 million will be situated on the land
bridge over the Thumamah Road connecting the two areas of the KAFD.
The butterfly house is designed by German firm Gerber Architeckten
International. The spherical envelope of the dome will have a diameter of 35
meters and have photo voltaic panels installed on the facade. The entire
structure will be surrounded by a water pool.
The project is one of many awarded to SBG within the 1.6 million square
meter district. The group is also working as the main contractor on World
Trade Center tower, GCC Bank Headquarters, The Crystal Towers and The
Cloud commercial building.
The Butterfly Dome also has several other international firms working on it.
Buro Happold is the lead and MEP consultant, while Hill International is the
project management firm. Swett Group is providing cost management
services for the project.
Bahrain re-assesses feasibility of $52mn theme park project
Bahrain is reevaluating the feasibility of developing a theme park in Muharraq.
The $52mn scheme covering an area of 93,618 square meters was to feature
the country’s first indoor ski slope and a three-story shopping center
Article only available on BNC
EIB lends €3.5bn for construction projects
The European Investment Bank (EIB) has approved €3.5bn of loans for
strategic infrastructure development projects, including a key railway route in
Poland and improvements to Tube and cycle travel in London.
The new loans will support long-term investment in 28 projects across the
European Union, the Western Balkans, the Caucasus region and South
America including strategic investment in road and rail upgrades and
construction along with improvements to housing, urban infrastructure,
education and research facilities.
The new credits will finance improvements of roads in France, Germany, and
Bosnia and Herzegovina, and the upgrading of a key railway route in Poland.
EIB will fund investment in low-emission housing, education and childcare
facilities, and transport in the Swedish city of Norrkoping apart from
supporting SMEs and mid-cap companies in Portugal, Spain, Italy, and,
outside the EU, in Montenegro, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Azerbaijan, Georgia,
The bank's Board of Directors have approved loans worth €9.3bn funding a
range of diversified projects of which €3.5bn will be used for strategic
Skanska to construct £165m new Papworth Hospital in Cambridge
Skanska, a multinational construction and development company, has
reached financial close with the Papworth Hospital NHS Foundation Trust for
the £165m new Papworth Hospital in Cambridge.
The public-private partnership contract includes design, build, finance, hard
and soft facilities management of the new Papworth Hospital at the
Cambridge Biomedical Campus.
The consortium consists of Skanska together with OCS, which will provide soft
facilities management services.
Hard facilities management services at the hospital will be provided by
Skanska for a 30-year post-completion period.
The construction contract for Skanska is valued at £140m and will be included
in the order bookings for Skanska UK for the first quarter of 2015.
The new Papworth Hospital project will be completed in 2018 with Skanska
commencing work on the site immediately.
The hospital will include 310 beds, most of which will be in single rooms, a
46-bed critical care area, seven operating theatres, six in-patient wards, a 24-
bed day ward, an outpatient unit and diagnostic and treatment facilities.
Skanska UK managing director Terry Elphick said: "We will be consulting with
all stakeholders throughout construction, an approach we like to take on our
healthcare projects around the world, for example Barts and The Royal
London, Derby City General Hospital, UCH Macmillan Cancer Centre, the
Proton Therapeutical Centre Teaching Hospital in the Czech Republic and Le
Bonheur Children's Hospital in the USA."
$660m in project funding secured for 100 MW Xina Solar One
Technology group Abengoa has announced that $660-million in project
financing has been secured for the 100 MW Xina Solar One project – a
parabolic-trough concentrated solar power (CSP) project, with five hours of
thermal energy storage capacity, being built in South Africa’s Northern Cape.
The total investment in the Xina project is expected to be $880-million.
The project is being pursued in partnership with the Industrial Development
Corporation (IDC), the Public Investment Corporation and the Kaxu
Community Trust, and is the Spanish group’s third South African CSP project.
Abengoa has a 40% stake in the ownership consortium.
Earlier this month, the consortium officially inaugurated the 100 MW KaXu
Solar One power plant, located alongside the Xina project site, near Pofadder.
In addition, an Abengoa-led consortium is building the 50 MW Khi Solar One
power-tower project, near Upington in the same sun-drenched province.
The $660-million non-recourse project financing agreements, Abengoa says,
combine funding from development financial institutions such as the African
Development Bank, the International Finance Corporation, IDC and the
Development Bank of Southern Africa, with local investment banks such as
Absa, Nedbank and Rand Merchant Bank.
A 20-year power purchase agreement has already been signed with Eskom,
after the selection of Xina as a preferred project during the third bidding
round under South Africa’s Renewable Energy Independent Power Producer
Abengoa says the location of Xina alongside KaXu, the first CSP plant to enter
commercial operation in South Africa, will form the “largest solar platform in
The five-hour thermal energy storage system, which uses molten salts, will
also mean that the electricity produced by the plant can be dispatched after
sunset to assist South Africa in meeting its evening-peak demand.
Tanzania dreams big with port project at former slave harbour
In its heyday, Bagamayo was a gateway to the heart of Africa for colonisers,
with trade goods surging in from the Indian Ocean, and timber, ivory and
countless slaves exported from the east coast harbour.
Then Bagamoyo, which looks out towards the island of Zanzibar, fell on lean
times for more than a century. Now Tanzania plans an $11-billion project to
make it the region's biggest port and an engine of Africa's boom.
The Chinese-backed project would dwarf Kenya's port at Mombasa, east
Africa's trade gateway some 300 km (180 miles) to the north, and include an
industrial zone and rail and road links to capitalise on growth in a region
hoping to exploit new oil and gas finds.
"It will be the engine for economic activity not only for Bagamoyo but for the
entire region," said district executive Ibrahim Matovu, speaking from offices
overlooking beaches where ship-builders hammer out wooden dhows as they
have for centuries.
Many doubt the plan can succeed and ask if Bagamoyo is even the right
location for a port, given it is just 75 km (50 miles) up the coast from Dar es
Salaam and far from gas deposits off Tanzania's southern coast.
Politics also plays a role.
President Jakaya Kikwete comes from Bagamoyo and many see the port as
his legacy project. But a groundbreaking ceremony was delayed from July and
the project is unlikely to be revived during an election season that culminates
in October, when his successor will be chosen.
In addition, Tanzania faces a budget crunch and has been cutting
infrastructure spending and the country lacks a credit rating, making
China Merchant Holding International has been joined by Omani sovereign
wealth fund, the State General Reserve Fund, on the project but there has
been little progress on building the infrastructure. The companies could not be
reached for comment.
Critics say the project is too much too soon for a nation with solid growth but
big infrastructure gaps.
Instead, they say the government should focus on improving Dar es Salaam's
port, which handles 90% of exports and is growing at 10% a year.
"Unfortunately, I think they lost a bit of focus. There is a need for more
coordination and clear direction on priority projects," said Jacques Morisset,
the World Bank's lead country economist.
Tanzania, a former socialist state, is struggling to shake its image as aid-
dependent and corrupt. Last month, the acting port authority director was
suspended amid a corruption inquiry, two years after his predecessor was
Across the region, fast-growing economies have launched infrastructure
projects at a scale unprecedented in most of Africa.
Many are hitting bottlenecks. Kenya, east Africa's top economy, is upgrading
Mombasa port and says it plans to move ahead with a long-delayed megaport
in Lamu, an ancient Arab trading post near the border with Somalia.
The Bagamoyo plan, 10 km from Bagamoyo town, a tentative UN World
Heritage site which has the crumbling remains of a slave market and other
remnants of the East African slave trade, was unveiled during a visit of the
Chinese premier in 2013.
manufacturing hub. Yet there are practical difficulties, not least that
Bagamoyo's port, unlike Dar es Salaam's, would most likely need regular,
"Bagamoyo is a really good example of a white elephant," said one analyst
who focuses on infrastructure. "If you're going to have two major ports, then
isn't the place to have it in the south, where the gas is?"
Tanzania has up to 53.28 trillion cubic feet of off-shore gas, putting it on par
with some Middle East producers, but it has yet to construct a liquefied
natural gas plant.
Plans to upgrade Tanzania's central corridor rail line that connects mineral-rich
Democratic Republic of the Congo to the coast are moving slowly.
"If you improve only the ports without improving the railway, you are not
doing anything," Shaaban Mwinjaka, permanent secretary at the Ministry of
Transport, told Reuters.
PEOPLE, THEY HOPE
In the meantime, Dar es Salaam has problems of its own. The World Bank
recently issued a stark assessment of the efficiency of a port expected to
reach capacity within a decade.
Last September, the Bank signed a $565-million deal to nearly double Dar's
capacity by 2020.
"If the port was as efficient as Mombasa, which is certainly not a great
benchmark, the country would make almost $2-billion profit gain per year,"
said World Bank economist Morisset.
Back in Bagamayo, artisans sip tea as they wait for the odd tourist to amble
"They've been talking about this (port) project for so, so long, but there's no
action," said Rast Mwite, a painter who sells leather sandals and chairs cut
from coconut wood. "But people, they hope."
R16.5bn biofuel plants won't affect food security
Pietermaritzburg - The two canola seed biofuels plants being developed at a
cost of R16.5bn in KwaZulu-Natal and Mpumulanga will not affect food
security in this county.
This was according to Leslie Young, part-owner and director of Johannesburg-
based Revelations Isambulo Holdings, which is a partner in the project with
China International Development and Investment Corporation Limited (CIDIC)
and Huntergreen Investcorp of Nigeria.
The plants should take about 18 months to complete once the environmental
assessments that are underway are finished.
The project comes ahead of the government’s plan to allow biofuel blends
from October 1 2015.
Up to 4 700 tonnes per day of rape seed are planned to be processed per day,
which in this country is more commonly known as canola.
The aim was to produce 2.1 million litres of biodiesel and jet fuel per day, 1
800 tonnes of animal feed per day and 61 000 tonnes of glycerine per year.
New canola crops required
According to Department of Agriculture and Fisheries, South Africa produces
less canola than the demand for it, with local consumption at around 24 500
tonnes per year in 2012, most of which is used to make canola oil and oilcake.
Most canola is grown in the southern western Cape.
This indicates that substantial additional crops will be required to meet the
needs of the biofuels plants.
Coal miner Murray to gain control of rival
New York - Murray Energy Corporation, the coal miner founded and run by
outspoken industry champion Robert E. Murray, agreed to acquire control of a
rival producer for $1.4 billion to add output in the US Midwest and create one
of the country’s largest suppliers of the commodity.
Closely held Murray Energy will buy 50 percent of St Louis-based Foresight
Energy LP, the companies said on Sunday in a statement. While Foresight
founder and majority shareholder Christopher Cline will see his stake shrink,
he will remain a significant investor and stay on as a director.
The deal will give Murray Energy a bigger presence in the Illinois basin, a
coal-mining region that’s a rare bright spot in an otherwise beleaguered and
shrinking industry. The combination will create a producer with more than 9
billion tons of coal reserves. That’s more than any other US supplier,
according to data compiled by Bloomberg.
“In this extremely distressed coal marketplace, a coal-mining company must
strive to be the lowest-cost producer in any sourcing region,” Murray, who
founded his St Clairsville, Ohio-based company in 1988, said in the
statement. “Foresight Energy has continued to be the low-cost producer in the
Illinois Basin, with a focus on safely producing high quality, high heat coal,
strategically located near low-cost transportation.”
A fourth-generation miner, Murray, 75, is perhaps the most outspoken
defender of a US coal industry that’s stuck in its worst downturn in decades.
The fuel his company sells to power plants is under pressure from cheap
natural gas and tougher emissions standards. He’s predicted publicly on
several occasions that at least five big US coal producers will have to file for
That hasn’t deterred Murray - who regularly blasts President Barack Obama’s
administration for actions he views as anti-coal, and who says there’s no
reason to believe coal prices will rebound anytime soon - from making deals
himself to expand his company.
Murray spent $3.25 billion to acquire the West Virginia coal operations of
Consol Energy in December 2013. Murray has since said he plans to increase
production at those mines and has been on the lookout for more acquisitions.
He’s targeting coal mines and reserves that he thinks can be the lowest-cost
supplier of the fuel to coal-fired power stations - plants that he thinks are too
important to be taken off the country’s electric grid and that are located in
places where it’s too expensive to convert to natural gas.
“That same strategy will carry me into the future,” he said in a December
Egypt Signs U.S.$12 Billion Deal With British Energy Giant BP
Cairo — Egypt's Petroleum Minister Sherif Ismail signed an energy deal worth
$12 billion (91.5 billion Egyptian pounds) with energy firm British Petroleum
(BP) on Saturday.
Ismail was cited by Egyptian state news agency MENA as saying that the deal
is set to provide Egypt with a quarter of local energy production and will
contribute to filling the gap in demand of petroleum products by 2020.
The deal will see the British energy giant develop 5 trillion cubic feet of
natural gas and 55 million barrels of condensates in the West Nile Delta area.
BP announced earlier this month the discovery of a deepwater exploration
well, called Atoll-1.
"The estimated potential in the concession exceeds 5 trillion cubic feet," the
company said in a press release on March 9.
Egypt has been facing an energy crisis for years, with power outages surging
in the summer.
Egyptian authorities have often owed the power crisis to a larger fuel crisis
and have been taking measures in recent months to diversify sources of
Egypt aims to build solar power plants and wind energy facilities within the
next three years, with a total capacity of 4,300 megawatts, President Abdel
Fattah al-Sisi said in January.
Egypt has signed an agreement with Russia last month, in which Russia will
help Egypt build a nuclear power plant in Dabaa, on Egypt's Mediterranean
coast, allowing Egypt to generate electricity using nuclear power.
Egypt has long been campaigning for the economic conference, hoping that it
will bring investments needed to revamp its economy.
Delegations from more than 100 countries are taking part in the three-day
conference, Egypt's government said.
Deals worth billions of dollars have so far been signed with the Egyptian
government as part of the major conference and oil-rich Gulf countries
Kuwait, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates have pledged $4 billion
each in investments and assistance to Egypt.
Coega unveils plans for Cargo Airport construction
The Eastern Cape’s Coega Industrial Development Zone (IDZ) could soon
become a multi-platform international transportation hub with plans for a
cargo airport under way.
The Eastern Cape propvince is home to automotive vehicle manufacturers
such as FAW, Mercedes Benz, VWSA, GMSA and Ford, and the recently
established renewable energy components manufacturing industry in the
The Coega Development Corporation (CDC) is to issue a notice for an
environmental impact assessment study to assess the feasibility of
establishing a cargo airport and an aeronautical or aerospace industrial cluster
in the Coega Industrial Development Zone (IDZ).
Ayanda Vilakazi, Coega Development Corporation’s head of marketing and
communications, said early this month that the corporation "is perfectly
endowed with skills, resources and world class infrastructure at the
neighbouring deep seawater Port of Ngqura, to be part of the global
commercial aircraft manufacturing industry".
The construction of a cargo or industrial airport would serve aeronautical and
aerospace industrial manufacturing.
The activity could include the manufacturing of helicopters, aerospace
engines, auxiliary equipment and parts, and propulsion units.
The industry could also possibly contribute to aerospace product prototypes,
aircraft conversion and aircraft overhaul and rebuilding.
He said the cargo flights would be destined for both international and
domestic airports to support the “city within a city” at Coega.
An added value benefit for investors, the airport would complement other
industrial clustering, like agro-processing and automotive clustering, planned
“The existing expertise, skilled labour and logistics services from the Eastern
Cape’s automotive and manufacturing industries are important strategic
advantages that can support the development of aeronautical and aerospace
manufacturing in the region,” Vilakazi said.
“Feasibility work has been done by industry experts which has yielded great
potential for the project. The establishment of an advanced manufacturing
cluster for aeronautical and aerospace industries has always been on our
vision map,” Davids said.
The planned cluster would be located in Zone 14 of the IDZ, which stretches
across 2086ha of land.
“Through the environmental impact assessment, we are a few steps closer to
developing a possible new industry for Nelson Mandela Bay, ensuring further
broadening of the economic base and growth through diversified industrial
sectors and development for the region,” Davids said.
British Architects named the designer of Qatar World Cup final stadium
Renowned British architects Foster and Partners was named on Monday as the
designer of the stadium that will host the final of the controversial Qatar
football World Cup in 2022.
The London-based firm won the international tender competition for the
project, Qatar’s Supreme Committee for Delivery & Legacy.
The 80,000 seater stadium will be built in the purpose-built city of Lusail,
some 15 kilometres (10 miles) north of the capital Doha.
The stadium will be the centrepiece of a huge $45 billion (38 billion euro)
construction project which will see an entire new city rise from the desert in
time for football's biggest tournament in seven years' time.
The decision was announced by Qatar's Supreme Committee for Delivery and
Legacy, which is overseeing preparations for the World Cup in the tiny,
energy-rich Gulf kingdom.
Hassan Al Thawadi, the committee's secretary-general, said: "We look forward
to working with them (Foster and Partners) in creating an iconic,
contemporary stadium inspired by Qatari culture.
"Lusail Stadium will be the centrepiece of the tournament, an architecturally
innovative stadium which maintains sporting functionality and delivers on our
The stadium at Lusail is also expected to host the first game of the
tournament as well as the opening ceremony.
Lord Foster, the chairman of Foster and Partners, said it was an "honour to
design this centrepiece stadium".
"We are delighted to have won the international competition," he added.
The architects are an internationally acclaimed firm responsible for such
projects as the redevelopment of the Reichstag Building in Berlin, the Hearst
Tower in New York and, perhaps most pertinently, the revamp of Wembley
Stadium in London.
The company's selection comes after a long tender process. The
announcement comes just weeks after a FIFA committee recommended
playing the tournament in November and December 2022, because of concern
The Qatar World Cup bid has been seriously damaged by continued
accusations over working conditions for the thousands of migrant construction
labourers who are building facilities for football's showpiece event.
In recent weeks, rights groups have demanded more action be taken by the
Qatari authorities to protect those workers.
Last month, Qatar said it would introduce a major labour law reform to ensure
thousands of workers building venues for the 2022 World Cup are paid on
The changes, approved by Qatar's Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani,
will see workers get paid at least once a month and in some cases every
Prison security improved following 2013 escape
Authorities are in the process of installing new security fencing at Northward
Prison to help prevent escapes following a prison break two years ago.
A project to significantly strengthen the perimeter fence at the prison
compound was completed earlier this year. A tender went out Friday for a
second project to install a new internal fence at the prison’s vocational center.
Prisons director Neil Lavis said the work followed a review of security in the
aftermath of the successful escape in August 2013, when three prisoners
broke out of a secure recreational area in the prison’s B Wing and cut through
two perimeter fences.
At the time, authorities highlighted the fact that the fence could be cut with
Legislators allocated $1.3 million in the 2014 budget for additional security
measures, including CCTV and fencing, at the prison.
Mr. Lavis said, “This was part of the full review that was done following that
“It will be significantly harder for someone to breach our perimeter once this
project is completed.”
The request for proposals that went out on Friday was for supply and
installation of a chain link fence and razor wire surrounding the prison’s
“The work on the perimeter fencing for the prison has already been
completed,” added Mr. Lavis.
“The external perimeter, fencing and cellular accommodation of both
Northward and Fairbanks should be brought up to category C standard and
more secure inner compounds introduced to hold higher risk prisoners,” said
Outlaw bikies cut mate out of Maribyrnong Detention Centre
OUTLAW bikies strolled into a Victorian detention centre to free one of their
own while terrified guards stood by and did nothing.
The extraordinary incident was one of five escapes from the Maribyrnong
Detention Centre in the past four months. Authorities have launched a
Leonard Gjeka was plucked from the detention centre by two fellow outlaw
motorcycle gang members — believed to be Hells Angels — on November 11
after they cut a hole in a perimeter fence, marched into the compound and
walked him out.
They fled on motorcycles.
It is alleged the breakout was witnessed by several guards but they did
nothing because they were intimidated by the bikies.
Gjeka, an Albanian national, was arrested by detectives from the fugitive
taskforce in Melbourne nine days later and subsequently deported.
He has been banned from ever returning to Australia. Police called him
extremely violent, and he forged a fearsome reputation in Adelaide.
The Sunday Herald Sun can reveal the other four escapes from the western
suburbs centre in recent months.
Michael Dobson, a New Zealander, fled in the same incident as Gjeka.
A Chinese detainee climbed on to the roof then took a running jump over a
fence to escape in January.
On Tuesday last week, a Vietnamese man did the same thing, climbing on to
a roof and jumping a fence. It is alleged he waved goodbye to a guard.
A day later, last Wednesday, an asylum seeker escaped while being escorted
to a Migration Review Tribunal.
Sources have told the Sunday Herald Sun that the major issues at the
detention centre were security cameras not working, faulty door sensors and
an “electric” fence which is no longer electrified.
Sophia Dickinson, a spokeswoman for the Department of Immigration and
Border Protection, said: “The department treats escapes from immigration
detention facilities very seriously and is working closely with the detention
service provider and local police to enhance security. Due to the efforts of the
police, detention service providers and the department, two (escapees) have
Highland Park continues to study boat ramp issue
Highland Park city and park district officials have agreed to move forward with
an engineering study of the Park Avenue boating facility, another step forward
in search of compromise between security and access concerns..
As it stands now, the city's plan to improve security at the water treatment
plant fails to provide safe and reasonable access to the adjacent boat ramp,
according to members of the park district task force who have examined the
issue for months. An engineering study will allow experts to weigh in on
It's unclear if an outcome exists that would satisfy all parties. So far, the city
has not budged from its plan to prohibit public use of the access road on the
west side of the water plant. Closing that road to boaters effectively
necessitates two-way traffic on the east side of the plant, creating safety
concerns for both boaters and pedestrians.
Without the west road, some boaters said they don't see how a plan could
Here's your compromise: Put up a fence around the water plant. Razor wire
atop that. Secure the gates. Done. Anything else is a waste of time and
money because it's not going to do anything against a determined attacker.
"What I see is boaters … are going to be squeezed out," said Peter Mordini, a
longtime Highland Park resident and power boater. "I'm just very nervous."
It's time to let the professional engineers study the quandary and review the
task force recommendations, said Park Board President Scott Meyers.
"Hopefully we can come back at the end of this and figure out a way to
balance the security issue with access," Meyers said. "If there's a solution to
The Park Avenue boat launch, just south of Highland Park's water treatment
plant, sits on city-owned land that for years has been leased to the Park
District of Highland Park, which owns the boat ramp, the floating dock and the
building that houses the North Shore Yacht Club.
This dilemma was set in motion last fall when city officials announced they
would close the Park Avenue boat ramp to enhance security at the water
treatment facility, which had recently undergone $35 million in improvements.
The idea was to secure a precious resource and significant public investment,
officials said then.
Highland Park's treatment plant provides water for 129,000 residents in
Highland Park and other communities, officials have said.
But the boaters pushed back. Some, like Mordini, said they live in Highland
Park because of its access to the lake and are loath to see it go. Last fall, Alan
Cohen, commodore of the North Shore Yacht Club, presented the City Council
with a petition of more than 1,000 signatures in opposition of the boat launch
Subsequently, the city agreed to work with the park district task force to find
But at the most recent meeting on March 10, members of the task force said
they were limited in what they could study and recommend given the city's
plan to set a perimeter fence around the water treatment plant.
The closure of the west road, and the resulting two-way traffic on the east
side of the plant, presents problems for boaters trying to launch their crafts,
as well as for those trying to get off the lake in case of emergencies, said
Nelson Armour, task force member.
City Council members Tony Blumberg and Michelle Holleman, who were
present at the park board meeting, both said the city was committed to
working with the park district to find a compromise.
This summer, the boat ramp will be open as usual while its future is being
St Patrick's Day prank: Man Sellotaped to lamppost outside Dublin pub
This hilarious picture shows a reveller in a sticky situation yesterday as he
took part in the St Patrick's Day celebrations.
The man, who was enjoying a day out with pals in Dublin's Temple Bar, was
taped to a stop sign outside the iconic Auld Dubliner pub, reports the Irish
The cheeky lads' antics were snapped by Janet Newenham yesterday
Ms Newenham said the man was "happy out" and was "fed beers" by his pals.
Posting on Twitter, she said: "As bad as it looks, he was loving the attention!
He was being fed beers and was happy out haha."
Around half a million revellers expected to pour into Dublin for St Patrick’s
Day celebrations, which is officially celebrated on March 17.