I refer to an article in your paper dated December 20, 2014, re: the Hope Canal, and to state from what I observed after a visit to the site just over a week ago, lots of work is yet to be completed.
The outfall has to be excavated, sea defences built on both sides of the wing walls , backfilling to be completed, sluice doors to be installed and electrical operation of the sluice doors etc are all yet to be completed.
I also feel the Government and its Consultants have now brought the problems of the East Demerara Water Conservancy out to the public area.
In my opinion, having designed and built numerous sluices, drainage works and sea defences throughout the coastlands, there is a strong possibility of a breach occurring between the wing walls of the sluice and the tie in to the existing conservancy dam. I also feel uplift forces due to a hydraulic head are also possible to act on the sluice floor causing displacement at certain times of the year.
Also the timber piles are designed to support vertical loads not uplift forces on the sluice. It should also be noted that a sluice built in Boeraserie during the 1950’s under similar soil conditions floated away shortly after construction.
I also feel the earth dam 12 to 16 feet high built on a pegasse foundation is susceptible to failure and slips. I understand that there is already a failure in the dam— some 200 feet of slippage. Placing a geo-textile material under the dam to strengthen the pegasse foundation is bogus engineering.
Lastly, in my opinion this entire project is a waste of money. To drain the conservancy, all you have to do is remove the vegetation, mount a dragline on a pontoon and design and excavate a hydraulic drainage path towards the Land of Canaan Sluice. This is how the conservancy was drained for many years.
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