The construction activity on the casino site took off in a flash after the summer break. The ambitious project must be completed by the end of December 2023, which is why winning every day is an absolute priority. What works are planned up to the end of this calendar year? Mayor Dedecker and Alderman for public works Dirk De Poortere visited the site and were impressed.
Site changes every day
Nearly all the main underground structural works will be completed by the end of this calendar year. This means the construction work for all the technical areas, the restaurant basement, the building connection to the underground car park, and the ground floor of the event hall will be complete. The favourable weather conditions and deployment of sufficient construction teams has meant that the structural work in certain zones is well ahead of schedule. In addition to the building, the works on the new seawall and parking garage are also progressing well. “Impressive... Currently, around 75 workers are active on the site every day. This is means that everything moves fast; I see changes every day. And that makes me very happy,” says Mayor Dedecker.
The “temporary company Democo-Furnibo” has been formed from Democo from Hasselt and Furnibo from Veurne in order to complete the construction of the new casino. This shared expertise benefits the progress of the site. And it is not only the site that is a highly organised ant’s nest, the adjacent construction offices are also bustling with activity. The site construction offices are the daily workplace for Pieter (Democo) and Victor (Furnibo).
“This is where we organise the site planning, put the design plans in to operation, order the materials, and manage the various teams. The site team is committed to working safely and efficiently, as well as to high quality standards. It’s all about gaining time and resources. Anything that goes wrong in the chain can cost time and money. Our planning system may look like a big colouring book, but it is extremely efficient. We can literally see any gaps popping up, so we can anticipate quickly.”
Unprecedented speed on the construction site
Victor is amazed and enthusiastic about the speed with which the main structural works are progressing: “Honestly, I've never experienced anything like this. I have never seen this sort of progress on such large sites.”
Pieter: “We started the excavation work for the parking garage on the western side. And we clad the parking garage on the east side. We would normally plan to start the main structural works of the central bollard construction on the ground floor before the end of October. It’s really something to see when the first floors of the bollard rise above the landscape. The first upright walls in the basement are already in place, so we are actually already working at height. The fact the works can proceed so smoothly and safely is due to the good co-operation within the Nautilus team.”
Close consultation with traders and local residents
Alderman of public works Dirk De Poortere is following the works closely. “I am obviously in close contact with contractors, traders and local residents. I am pleased the sewage works on the Ostend side have been completed already. This means the pedestrian zone on the seawall will be 4 m wide again. These are actually the works that have the most impact on local residents. The site is very impressive, and you can see public interest is great when you observe how many people stop to watch the works”, Dirk concludes.