Ballast Nedam to rebuild airport roof

AMSTERDAM–The large Dutch construction company Ballast Nedam will shortly start on the reconstruction of the roof of the St. Maarten Airport, the magazine of Dutch construction companies Cobouw revealed on Tuesday.

The new roof will be able to withstand category 5 plus hurricane winds and it needs to be ready before the upcoming hurricane season, said Ballast Nedam’s Area Manager René Overdevest, who is leaving for St. Maarten within short to execute the multi-million project which should start in March.

The aluminium roof will be designed and built in such a way that it can endure wind speeds of 300 kilometres an hour. This means additional calculating and drawing work with sturdy constructions. The containers with construction material are being filled in the Netherlands and will shortly leave the Netherlands.

Specialised building material from the Netherlands will be used. The material, design and calculations are tested in a wind tunnel in the Netherlands to make sure that the roof can withstand extremely high winds. Ballast Nedam will closely cooperate with a Dutch construction company specialised in facades, Prince Cladding and several St. Maarten companies. About this last aspect, Overdevest said: “It is important for the people of St. Maarten to assist in the rebuilding.”

A project amount was not mentioned, other than that it involved several million euro. Overdevest said that the project is being carried out by a construction team in a transparent manner where the budget was made fully available to the project’s principal, which is the airport.

“The airport building is in a very bad state. The roof is badly damaged and the mould has affected the interior. There are tents for departing and arriving passengers. It will take at least a year before the airport terminal building can be used again. It is of great importance to the island’s economy to quickly rebuild the airport,” said Overdevest.

Overdevest is no stranger to the Dutch Caribbean: he has worked on the islands on earlier occasions and also resided in St. Maarten for a while. “I have worked in the area for years and I feel involved. As project manager, I have carried out multiple projects on the island,” Overdevest told theCobouw magazine.

The manager, who visited St. Maarten ten days after Hurricane Irma, said that he was shocked by the destruction caused to the island’s infrastructure, homes, nature, but also the airport. Now, six months later he is able to contribute to the rebuilding of the airport with Ballast Nedam.

Source: The Daily Herald