falmouth sea wall road erosion

Breaking the Reefs

When the cruise ship project was first announced, several persons voiced concerns that breaking the reefs will place Falmouth, Jamaica in danger of flooding as the town itself is below sea level. It was recommended that the shoreline be protected. Not much was done and we are now seeing the wisdom of those early sceptics.

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Navigator of the Seas in port with the tyres marking the damages in the forefront. Look to the left, you will see the pier property protected with nicely packed stones. No such luck for the hapless road. Who cares about the people?

 

The Entire Falmouth Shoreline Affected

The entire shoreline has been affected, from Rodney Street in the west up to Rock District (almost 2 miles away) in the east. The tide in Rock has risen, and will no doubt do it’s damage and change the shoreline over time. The most telling signs are on the Falmouth to Rock Main Road (as we depart from Harbour Street, Falmouth). The erosion of the sea water is causing the sea wall to crumble and the road to break away.

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Some huge stones were placed on the eastern shore of Fort Balcarres (Falmouth All-Age School) and they seem to be doing a good job so far (see picture below). This shows that the reason the eastern side has been so affected is because of the lack of protection for so many years. It seems no one cares.

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Protection for the western side of the harbour (Falmouth All-Age School)

Breaking the reef to allow the world’s largest cruise ships to enter our port, has released damaging waves that would normally be shielded by the reef. Instead, the waves come to shore in full force, leaving the sea wall, then the road at their mercy.

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So far, I have seen good results through large stones that have been packed ashore. The picture below shows that the stones have successfully protected this section of the wall. However, a more long term approach is needed.

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The exposed wall has been eroded, but the section protected by these big rocks still stand firm.

Expansion of the Port

Now that there is talk of expansion of the port, citizens are getting uneasy, as they are wondering how the port will be expanding and the sea wall and road are still not fixed. It seems the world’s largest cruise ships: Oasis of the Seas and Allure of the Seas will soon lose their crowns as the world’s largest cruise ships, and Falmouth will have to host the new champions.

garth-wilkinson-mayor-of-falmouthRoad To Be Repaired Soon?

The Mayor of Falmouth, Garth Wilkinson said that he has been lobbying for 3 years to have this matter addressed. It was with relief that he revealed that the National Works Agency (NWA) will be putting the contract to tender. This means that there is hope. Let us also hope that the process is executed speedily before the water claims more of the road.

Pictures Showing the Erosion of the Falmouth Sea Wall & Main Road

I went out on the main road last Thursday, while the Navigator of the Seas was in port, to show the extent of the damage done by the sea water. It was a stark contrast between the clean look of the port and its facilities and the dirty crumbling sea wall. The ship seemed to be gloating at the damage that has done to get it there.

Let’s hope that the contract that the NWA has put to tender will result in a long term, if not a permanent solution to this problem. What do you think? I would be happy to get your comments.

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1 COMMENT

  1. first ting first make sure the check go to the best contractor so a couple years tater we are not back to square one

  2. Brian, great job on your publication! Regarding the repairs, why isn’t the Mayor pushing for developing a complex similar to the Festival Marketplace as being done for downtown Kingston instead of just merely fixing the road. Clearly passengers can see this section from the ship and it would be an attraction for them to head to right off the bat. Falmouth needs to give passengers as many reasons to get off the ship as possible. The road could be moved further inland (providing there is space and all the areas around the pier should be developed. I know its more expensive but they sure need to go all out to make the town of Falmouth first class. This is just a thought but it would be nice to see the powers that be think bigger. At least commission an artist impression as to what this could look like.

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