Work is moving forward as the stacks of blocks continue to grow and they are piled on top of each other in preparation of being transported to the port and positioned as needed to expand on the existing breakwater. Cement trucks running back and forth from the location is an almost constant activity and we have seen the hustle and bustle of workers every day right up through Christmas Eve and they were back at it the day after Christmas.
Remember, this work is not happening at the pier itself. That will come soon enough, when they have enough of the blocks completed to begin transporting them to their final resting place as part of the Home Port. This work is being done in the large open space to the North across the road from the Sonoran Sun Resort. If you take the old road to Cholla Bay (extension of the new road past the Convention Center) you will drive right by the site. Be careful if driving down that way as there really are cement trucks flying back and forth at all hours, even past sundown.
They are building a permanent structure on the site as well but I have not confirmed exactly how that structure will be used. I’m assuming that by next month’s newsletter, I will have more information to share. For now, we can all just sit back and watch as the project moves forward.
The following information is courtesy of JoinUs Monthly Magazine and Jose Antonio Perez. Translation by Shandra Keesecker:
SEMARNAT agreement published in Official Journal of the Federation assigns COFETUR Federal Maritime Land Zone for Home Port
The Secretary of the Environment and Natural Resources (Semarnat) has assigned beach area of the Federal Maritime Land Zone and Land Reclaimed from the Sea (Zofemat) to the Sonoran State Tourism Commission (COFETUR). This area represents that corresponding to where the cruise ship Home Port is currently being built in Puerto Peñasco.
This designation was established in an agreement published on Dec. 10, 2014 in the Official Journal of the Federation, detailing use by COFETUR of 3,470.92 sq. meters located at kilometer 3.7 of Sandy Beach in this municipality, for a breakwater to the east and to the west a cruise ship terminal and pedestrian walkway.
The agreement published in the Official Journal, signed by Semarnat Director Juan José Guerra Abud, details the designation was made as the area meets official demarcation, under code No. DDPIF/SON/2009, dated October, 2009. In addition, the Sonoran Tourism Commission, through a request dated July 28, 2014, solicited use of the area described above for use of a breakwater and cruise ship terminal with pedestrian walkway. Furthermore, on May 28, 2013, the Puerto Peñasco Office of Urban Development, Public Projects, Ecology, and Zofemat issued an acknowledgment accrediting compatibility for use of soil for the request made by the Sonoran Tourism Commission.
On these bases, and following technical opinions obtained from the Office on Comprehensive Management of Coastal
Environments and the Office of Demarcation, Registry, and Fiscal Instruments, the General Office of the Federal Maritime Land Zone and Coastal Environments determined the request of the Sonoran Tourism Commission meets technical and environmental guidelines as required under the law in effect.
Therefore, and based on provisions of the General Law of National Assets, federal goals are being met to provide optimum use of federal property by granting federal, state, and municipal public offices with properties as required to address public services in as much as possible.
The Official publication details that an area of 3,470.92 sq. meters of beach in the federal maritime land zone and land reclaimed from the sea at kilometer 3.7 on Sandy Beach in the municipality of Puerto Peñasco is granted to the service of the Sonoran Tourism Commission for use to launch a breakwater to the east and cruise ship terminal and pedestrian walkway to the west.
It clarifies this agreement only confers the Sonoran Tourism Commission the right to use the area for fulfillment of the objective indicated in the first article of said instrument, but does not transfer the property nor create any real right in favor of the Commission.
The Secretary of the Environment and Natural Resources cites it may once again demarcate the area at any time, therefore coordinates of the vertex, directions and distances of the polygons may be modified.
Semarnat emphasizes in the event the Sonoran Tourism Commission were to use the area for something other than that foreseen in the agreement, without prior authorization of the Secretary of the
Environment and Natural Resources, or cease to use or need it, said asset along with all its improvements and accessions would be removed from its service in order to be managed by Semarnat.
The official agreement issued on Nov. 5, 2014, also indicates within the attributes of the Secretary of the Environment and Natural Resources is that of strictly monitoring compliance with the same. The agreement itself was to enter into effect on the day following publication in the Official Journal of the Federation, which occurred on December 10th.
The following information and photos are of a recent first hand account by Russ Black of Peñasco Recreation:
“I went to the block making facility today on my way back from a project in La Cholla. Arturo (chief of security) kindly explained to me that the company building the Port Blocks is a specialty company from Monterrey, Nuevo Leon, Mex. They have built ports pretty much everywhere in Mexico and around the globe. They know what they are doing.
Management is from Monterrey, several dozen from what I gathered. However 60 + people working on this project are from Peñasco. I asked bluntly…..”are they being paid a dignified wage?” His reply was quick….yes! After a probationary period their wage is set according to their work ethics. If they are found lacking they are cut loose.”
“So far they have produced 300-350 large building blocks, and another 600-800 decorative blocks – the center will be filled with the blastings from Black Mountain. The blocks are constructed to allow water to flow freely from one side of the jetty to the other.”
“From what I see it looks like a great project with direct benefit to the people here in Peñasco. That’s the construction side. The other side, the business side, I don’t pretend to know who the players are. I have heard that these new ships will be brand new cruisers – flagged in Mexico and small – like 1500 passengers. If they are smart they will do what they can to make this whole multi million dollar project work. The whole thing can be built and the whole thing can fall apart in the interim with jackasses who want everything their way…..We don’t know that right now. What we have is a successful project being done beyond first world standards in a ( dare I say it) second world theater with a few naysayers hoping for disaster, which I for one do not perceive.”