BERMUDA JUST GOT A VITTLE BIGGER. As the host country, Bermuda has undergone significant preparation and infrastructure developments, not the least of which is a nine-acre land reclamation project in the South Basin at Dockyard. The Royal Naval Dockyard area has seen many wonderful buildings restored to their former glory through the years. New modern team bases have also risen from Dockyard facilities, and other infrastructure projects have given lasting value to Bermuda’s economy. Bermuda’s largest land reclamation project since World War II, now known as Cross Island, has employed 155 Bermudians, involve d new technology and given Bermuda a lasting legacy. Contractors working for Royal Caribbean Cruises dredged material from Bermuda’s North Channel as part of a multiyear contract with the benefit of allowing access for large cruise ships to visit Bermuda. The 150,000 cubic yards of material were deposited in the South Basin to make up some of the landfill, which in 2017 will be the home base for the 35th America’s Cup Event Village. Added to that were seven entire shiploads of gravel, crushed granite imported from Canada — each load with 35,000 metric tonnes — for a total of 245,000 metric tonness. That’s about 165,000 cubic yards of material that was discharged into the reclamation site by conveyor from the delivery vessel. The project was engineered in accordance to Bermuda’s usual high building standards in order to withstand extreme weather conditions such as a hurricane. Yes, Bermuda has grown a little bigger with Cross Island, which some locals have affectionately named Bermuda’s 10th parish! After the America’s Cup, Cross Island will be used for long-term community benefit. A feasibility study is under way to assess the dozens of public submissions that the West End Development Corporation (WEDCO), the entity responsible for Dockyard, received for ideas on the future use of the land. Additionally, several old Dockyard buildings that until now stood empty and dilapidated have undergone extensive restoration. These are projects that have been in the pipeline for some time and have been accelerated thanks to the America’s Cup. The results are spectacular, and Dockyard is definitely one of the must-sees of Bermuda. There are other ways Bermuda has grown a little bigger thanks to America’s Cup 2017, and that growth will continue to form a new industry, giving rise to additional revenue and career opportunities for locals. The island is now better-positioned as a choice destination in international yachting, already hosting some spectacular yachting regattas not directly related to the America’s Cup. The 35th America’s Cup has already made the Bermuda experience a little richer, a little more interesting. There is now more to explore, to experience and to celebrate.
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