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Independent engineer to lead Clare Valley remedial work

Independent engineer to lead Clare Valley remedial work

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Following the recent collapse of a house at the Clare Valley housing development, an independent engineer has been selected to head the team that is carrying out the remedial work necessary to rectify issues afflicting housing at the site.

Minister of State in the Ministry of Works Julian Francis announced on Tuesday, October 7, {{more}}that Dexter Gellizeau would be spearheading the team.

“He will be the one spearheading the remedial works,” said Francis. “We brought in Dexter so he can spend a lot time down there with a fresh look – not from the Ministry of Works.”

Coordinated through BRAGSA, Gellizeau’s team comprises four contractors, in addition to other persons; and he will work closely with the chief engineer Brent Bailey, the Housing and Land Development Company, and the Ministry of Works.

According to Francis, six work gangs have been trimming and cleaning the site for the past 10 days, and that will be completed by the end of this week.

He explained that this clean-up was not only to give the housing development a “facelift”, but more importantly to give surveyors a “clear view of what exists in Clare Valley.”

Additionally, surveyors have already marked out where drainage will be installed, and two excavator tractors are already on-site to facilitate this. The smaller excavator will be used around the houses, while the bigger one will used to dig extensive drainage at the hill above the site, under the forest.

“That’s where the water will be collected and run off,” explained Francis. “Water will still be collected lower down at a much reduced volume.”

The water collected will be channelled back into the Clare Valley River.

Francis further stated that discussions with homeowners are still continuing, as he has not yet spoken to all the families affected. He also assured the public that the Clare Valley site is suitable for housing – attributing confirmation of such to geologist Dr Richard Robertson.

According to Francis, in a presentation delivered to the National Emergency Management Organization (NEMO) last week, Robertson said that his findings indicate that the site in Clare Valley is not unsuitable for housing… once the correct engineering procedures are put in place.”

The Minister of State reiterated that the Government is not ducking its responsibility on this matter and will “fix and remedy what is to be remedied.”

“That’s how we respond to these things,” assured Francis. “We are returning people’s lives to what they had, what they enjoyed – their peace of mind. Letting them know that the Government is there with them.”(JSV)