Cape Sierra Hilton goes 2 floors deep – Article from Sierra Leone News


Construction work at the new Hilton Freetown Cape Sierra hotel is going on in earnest as the contractors fight to beat the odds against them.
Coming in from constructing the massive Gambian House of Assembly Bhupinder Jit Singh the Project head of the Indian Construction firm Shapoorji Pallonji says “I am still not panicking” whilst also admitting that “this project is quite challenging.”

After the initial demolition works of the old structure, the turning of the sod for this massive ten storied 5 star hotel was done in 2011. The ceremony attracted the Hilton Vice President who on seeing the site and being awe struck by its beauty ordered a review of the design which saw a 20% increase in size. Obviously this meant more funds, and the Sierra Leoneans led project promoters IDEA UK had to go looking for more money to complete the project and re-negotiate the land lease with NASSIT. This process took another two years 2012 2013.

Eventually in 2014 the contractors moved in and Ebola had to cause them to put in the brakes. Project Head Bhupinder Jit Singh said the project is quite tasking because it is a 5 star hotel, which is one of the most difficult to construct except probably a hospital. His problem however is that some of the designers and consultants are not allowed to travel to Sierra Leone because of the Ebola threat. This makes life difficult for him, but still he is hopeful he will finish on time, which is late next year 2016.

Sierra Leonean born Wilben Short who represents IDEA UK took Awoko Biz on a conducted tour, showing the ‘T’ shaped structure and explaining how the whole construction is going on. Presently there is massive excavation going on to dig two floors down. This is why from the outside the work going on is not visible. Below the ground is hard granite rock, which has to be blasted to crack it.
Workers are now being trained on the form works for which specially made scaffolding has been brought in, along with specially cut and treated timber. Waterproof and anti rust painting is being employed. A separate lab has been set up to test the strength and quality of the concrete structures and other materials used. River sand is used in place of sea sand which has salt and which is known to affect the iron rods when used.

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