The event is proving to be a major one. On July the 18th, at the end of a well-established process, the last box constituting the project's perimeter belt was installed with a precision worthy of a goldsmith.
The month of July resonates as a time barrier in the marathon of the completion of the extension at sea. It was in July 2015 that the treaty relating to the launch of the project was signed then one year later, in July 2016, the works service order and, at the end of July 2017, the government's approval of the studies conducted by Bouygues TP. Again in this month of the summer season in 2018, the arrival of the first box in Monegasque waters sets the pace for the calendar. Finally, on 18th July last, this cycle ended with the installation fo the belt's closing box. Beyond the anecdote, this demonstrates the ability of a group of companies to meet its commitments in terms of deadlines. Better still, on some workshops, the advance on the planning now stands at then months...
A "crucial step"
According to Christophe Hirsinger, Director of Bouygues TP Monaco, the installation of this box that closes the belt is therefore "a crucial step" for the Portier Cove land extension - also known under the name Mareterra. Indeed, it is this last stage that now makes it possible to fully launch construction of the platform on which the various superstructures will then be located: buildings, villas, animation port... Already, in August, the operations to fill the median have progressed well and are visible to the public. The technical backfill is more than 80% complete and by the beginning of September, the rest of the backfill, about 440,000 cubic metres will be underway.
Another "great satisfaction", according to the director, is the progress of civil engineering operations, such as the slabs already cast on top of various boxes.
Target far exceeded!
Similarly, the campaign to remove the rockfill (43,000 tonnes) along the former promenade has been completed, freeing the vessel Filipo from this activity. This phase also means the completion of the installation of artificial reefs off the Principality's coast. "We managed to create seven underwater villages thus exceeding all our expectations because we had planned hills six metres high on average and some of them will finally reach 11 metres," says Christophe Hirsinger. "It's quite spectacular to see. We will be able to start the next phase of the construction of these villages by finalizing the design of the artificial reefs themselves, which will be installed next year, starting in May."
New and innovative windows
The eleven 11-centimetre thick windows of the corner box housing, on the Fairmont side, the future seawater pool, have also been completed. As the pool is located at sea level, these windows will give bather the impression of swimming directly in the sea as if there were no obstacles. "These are windows that can withstand high stresses, up to 15 tons of pressure," says Christophe Hirsinger. They were manufactured by a specialist in the Netherlands, their frames in France according to stringent standards.
In mid-September, the first of the 80 quay blocks manufactured in Marseille will also begin to be installed.
This article was originally published in September 2019 edition of the Gazette de Monaco.