Last update: 11-Dec-2013 10:14 pm
Wednesday, December 11, 2013
Trinidad & Tobago Guardian Online
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Udecott releases site report today
The Urban Development Corporation (Udecott) now says it will release its geotechnical site assessment report on the $1.5 billion Couva Children’s Hospital site, which is close to the earthquake-prone Central Range faultline, today. Last Friday, Udecott published a full-page advertisement in the T&T Guardian saying it would release the report on Monday.
Udecott corporate communications manager Roxanne Stapleton-Whyms confirmed on Monday that the report, which has been the source of contention for some local engineers calling themselves Engineers Anonymous, would be released. But she said Udecott was expected to receive the report on Monday and after review it will be uploaded to Udecott’s Web site.
“We are supposed to get it today (Monday) and by Wednesday it will be disseminated. We want to upload it to the Web site to have it accessible to the public,” Stapleton-Whyms said on Monday in a brief telephone interview with the T&T Guardian. Engineers Anonymous said on Monday they would wait to review the report before commenting. A geotechnical report describes site conditions to guide engineers on the design and construction methodology for a project.
Last month, the T&T Guardian highlighted the engineers’ and seismologists’ concerns in an exclusive report, after it was revealed that the hospital was being constructed near the Central Range earthquake fault line. The fault line, experts say, has the potential to cause an earthquake of magnitude 7.5 or above.
But Health Minister Dr Fuad Khan and Housing Minister Dr Roodal Moonilal said the experts’ fears about the building design specifications had been addressed at a meeting and they had agreed the hospital should be built at the site.
Udecott, in its advertisement, said the proposed Couva Children’s Hospital “has been designed to the guidelines of the Ministry of Works and Infrastructure in its most recent revision, March 2010. This guideline recommends the use of the International Building Code (IBC) 2006 in conjunction with the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) codes; ASCE 7–2005. The advertisement said the IBC 2006 and its 2009 and 2012 updates “use site-specific probabilistic methods which characterise potential building sites.”
Udecott said it “is a responsible state agency and maintains that full due diligence was adhered to before design and construction of the project even commenced, with the completion of a comprehensive geotechnical investigation conducted by a highly respected and independent company.” It added: “Udecott stands firmly by these findings.”
Udecott, in the advertisement, stated that, it “affirms that any professionally recognised group with an interest for example the Association of Professional Engineers of Trinidad and Tobago can write to Udecott requesting the information and Udecott will ensure that the information will be made readily available.” Udecott, the advertisement stated, “cannot, however, respond to ‘anonymous engineers.’”
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