Preferred site identified for second berth
Engineers working on the design of Sydney harbour’s second cruise ship berth have identified a preferred location north of the existing dock after extensively testing specific conditions.
To locate the berth without affecting the existing facility was a challenge, Richard Morykot of CBCL Ltd. told Ports Day this week.
They looked at four particular orientations to the north.
“Each has its advantage and disadvantages, there are pros and cons including money, time, construction, accessibility,” he said.
Talks are currently underway between the CBRM and the owner of the property to the north of the existing berth, Jerry Nickerson.
CBRM Mayor Cecil Clarke has said they can apply to expropriate the land, if necessary. While the CBRM has budgeted up to $2 million for that lot, Nickerson is seeking $6 million. Expropriation would involve two independent appraisals and coming up with an arbitrated price.
The analysis of the options is currently being completed, Morykot said.
Extending to the south would pose other challenges, he said, calling them “achievable but problematic, adding some upland owners may have issues with it and the existing yacht berths could face usage restrictions. A parallel arrangement would have too big of an impact on the channel, he said.
They took all of those options and ran them through a simulator in Prince Edward Island for testing for conditions including wind, waves and currents. In designing the second berth, they are using the large ship Oasis of the Seas, which is 362 metres long, as a guide.
Morykot said geotechnical drilling and environmental sampling is about to begin, which will show what the ground is like and where there is rock, which may affect the final design.
Several permits are required and a number have been applied for but many can’t be finalized until detailed engineering is done.
Once design is completed the construction tender will be issued.
Cruise ships are getting larger, Morykot said. The Queen Mary II, which does come to Sydney, is too big to dock at the current berth.
There will be an environmental review and some dredging will be required which will also require a permit. Options will have to be considered for depositing the dredged material. Morykot said the current preferred option is relocating it to the confined disposal facility created by the dredging of Sydney harbour.
The project also includes updates for the Joan Harriss Cruise Pavilion and the existing dock.