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East side water supply runs through Northern Defences

The Deputy Chief Minister, Dr Joseph Garcia, was shown around the new water infrastructure at the Northern Defences which will serve the new east side developments.

A series of steps, viewing platforms and ramps now hide the hundreds of metres of pipes that will be supplying the new east side developments such as Hassan Centenary Terraces.

Dr Garcia was presented with the completion of the second phase of works which have taken place over the last year.

He was shown the work by Paul Singleton, Managing Director of AquaGib, and Francis Silva, Water Networks Director.

They were accompanied by Project Director, Carl Viagas, and AquaGib’s Special Projects Consultant, William McLaren.

Dr Garcia thanked the staff and management of AquaGib for the sensitive work they carried out when laying out the new infrastructure.

“This new infrastructure has been designed to supply the needs of the East side Reclamation site and will initially serve the new Hassan Centenary Terraces development,” Mr Singleton said.

“The Western Water Mains Relief Project (WWMRP) as a concept was initiated in 2017 and was borne out of need, to provide water network infrastructure redundancy due to the capacity of the West side Infrastructure and the increased demand on the same due to the rapid expansion rate of construction and demographics in the building sector over the years.”

“What was always going to be a logistical challenge of supplying these relatively remote sites from our service reservoirs, has been overcome by working closely with the Office of the Deputy Chief Minister and Carl Viagas.”

“His thorough knowledge of the Northern Defences and a dedicated management team has enabled us to identify a route away from congested sites therefore providing the most efficient solution but also, we have avoided inconveniencing the public any more than was totally necessary.”

Director of Water Networks, Mr Silva, said: “Such infrastructure will extend between the Water Works and Devil’s Tower Road, routed through the Northern Defences and Laguna Estate.”

“This makes provision for two large, 315mm diameter Polyethylene (PE) pipes to ensure that the Potable and Seawater Distribution Network gains further capacity and resilience.”

“The extent of the works, once completed, will involve the laying of approximately 2000m of twin pipes which will make this project one of the most significant of its kind in the last decade”.

The pipes that hug the ground will soon be concealed and this section of the project, within the Northern Defences, will reach its final stages in the next few months.

The Deputy Chief Minister went on to see the upper section of the Castle walls which have been exposed as part of the recent works.

He was shown different construction styles in the masonry which after decades are now evident and show the different periods in history.

While clearing out works continue at the Northern Defences, an opportunity arose where infrastructure could be integrated as part of the future vision of the Northern Defences Project.

“Using our historic network of tunnels to provide for our future demands on the East side of the Rock was a challenge that the team gladly took onboard,” the office of the Deputy Chief Minister said.

“It was a question of balancing such pressing needs within a historic context.”

For his part, Dr Garcia said: “This is a much needed project in a very difficult area.”

“I have to specially congratulate the teams involved who have carried out these works within a historic and in an environmentally sensitive manner.”

“I am grateful to AquaGib and to Carl Viagas.”

“This is truly an example of how different disciplines can work in tandem to deliver what is best for our community.”

“From the works in the tunnels, where hundreds of meters of pipes have been buried, to the new viewing platform below the Tower of Homage, which now conceals a previously exposed network junction of pipes.”

“The nature and speed of this intervention is one that paves the way in how to carry out similar tasks in the future.”

The removal of vegetation comes to a halt during the nesting season but this does not mean that works cease.

The amount of debris, refuse and even razor wire evident will be removed as part of the next phase.

What is particularly encouraging with this last section of works is that the Tower of Homage can now be physically connected to the Northern Defences at some point in the future, the Office for the Deputy Chief Minister said.

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