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2013 Award of Honor - West Bay Street Realignment
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Project Category: Commercial

Project Name: West Bay Street Realignment

Project Location: Nassau, Bahamas

Date of Completion: December 2011

Landscape Architect: Foster Conant & Associates, Inc. - Richard Conant, FASLA

(www.fosterconant.com)

 Owner: Baha Mar Ltd.

 Landscape Contractor: Caribbean Landscape Ltd.


This project was a collaboration between the Bahamian Government and a private Developer on the island of New Providence, Bahamas. Located at Cable Beach, the Developer desired to build one of the largest resort destinations in the Bahamian Islands. In this process, the Developer traded part of his land to relocate an existing roadway, which featured a linear park and commercial properties. The realignment included one mile of an improved four lane divided roadway, a new commercial center, and a new 60-foot wide linear park running along the south side of the roadway. The Bahamian Government desired that this new roadway, designed to British Standards, accommodate safe vehicular flow as well as an open space public park and walkway system for local residents and visitors. The old West Bay Street was a popular walkway system. The new linear park system had to have similar aesthetic appeal, allow functional space, and utilize as much existing native vegetation as possible. 

The Landscape Architect was engaged by the Developer to design the Landscape Architectural components of the project including landscaping, irrigation, hardscape, architectural elements, roadway lighting, and site lighting. The Landscape Architects worked very closely with the Civil Engineers in the development of the cross sections of the roadway to assure that the landscape and hardscape components became an integral part of the roadway system.

Five roundabouts were created along the roadway to accommodate local circulation and future entrances into the resort property. Bus stops were required as a major transportation component of the roadway. Pedestrian walkways were provided on both sides of the roadway. To assure safety, LED roadway lighting and a park walkway lighting system provides illumination. Three small parking areas, one at both ends and the middle, allow locals to drive to the park.

Early in the design process, the Engineers realized that their road alignment had gotten very close to a natural pond known to locals as Hobby Horse Pond. The close proximity of the roadway to the pond constricted the linear park. The Landscape Architects found an opportunity to engage Hobby Horse Pond with a boardwalk over the water to take advantage of the native wildlife and provide viewing opportunities. In another location, a linear dock was extended out into the water to have views of the entire pond.  

Both the Government and the Developer wanted the roadway and park system to be full of color. The Developer especially wanted the roadway to be a high quality landscape as the lead-in to his resort property. Vehicular and pedestrian experiences along the roadway were important. Within the five roundabouts, landscaping played different themes to introduce the entrances of four new hotels.

Large Coconut trees, as well as mature Royal Poinciana, Ficus, Silk Cotton, Orchid, and Tabebuia trees, were collected and transplanted from the old West Bay Street Park to the new linear park. Over 40% of the tree planting along the roadway and park utilized relocated plant material.

To enhance the park experience, the sidewalks were poured in a coral pink integral color with a rock salt and weather-impression finish. Every 30-40 linear feet, leaf foliage of the island is impressed into the sidewalk as a story teller. Native stone was used in the construction of bus shelters and roundabout planter walls. The British standard roundabout posed a challenge in that drainage is directed into the roundabout through scuppers then around the circle in a swale to a main drain. To enhance this feature, the Landscape Architect specified a native by-product, Conch Shells, hand crushed, to provide a collar around the perimeter of the roundabout to carry water. This has become the most unique and recognizable signature of the new West Bay Street.

The park system has also been embraced by locals as a preferred walking and jogging route. Hardly a weekend goes by that a wedding does not occur in the park or on the linear dock.

Credits:

Project Manager:  René Ramos, Foster Conant & Associates, Inc.

 Senior Landscape Architect:  David Seaberg, Foster Conant & Associates, Inc.

 Irrigation Design Consultant:  Michael Prevost, Prevost Stamper Inc.

 Owner’s Representative:  Farris Kincaid, Baha Mar Ltd. 

Landscape Contractor:  Robert Myers, Caribbean Landscape Ltd.

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