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Completion expected by end of next year

PAPEETE, Tahiti (Tahitipresse, July 22, 2010) – Major construction work on a new downtown Papeete ferry terminal began at the end of last year. The construction will be over for "Christmas 2011", Minister for Transports Louis Frébault announced this week in Papeete.

The second part of construction work recently started, Frébault told reporters during a press conference.

The new terminal is necessary to handle the regular ferry traffic between Tahiti and its sister island of Moorea.

That yearly traffic amounts to 1.7 million passengers and some 250,000 motor vehicles, according to the Port Authority.

The new ferry terminal, a project dating back to 2001, will cost an estimated 2.5 billion French Pacific francs (US$30.9 million/€20.95m).

The new terminal will provide a better flow of passengers, vehicles and freight by improving loading and unloading conditions.

This, it said, will be accomplished by splitting up the flow of passengers and vehicles at the terminal's main entrance.

The parking garage will be built across the downtown oceanfront street on land where the former Hotel Royal Papeete is located.

That is expected to improve the motor vehicle traffic situation along the ocean boulevard, while making it safer for passengers.

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