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Two local companies teaming up on Baha Mar road works

Bahamas Hot Mix and Bahamas Marine Construction have come together in a joint venture to execute road works worth over$40 million as a part of the first phase of the Baha Mar project.

The announcement came during a contract signing ceremony at Baha Mar’s Sheraton Nassau Beach Resort yesterday. The companies made it to the final round of the bidding process and they were both selected to complete the West Bay Street/Corridor 7 road works, expected to generate 100 direct jobs and another 100 indirect jobs.

“Our main forte is the asphalt paving,”said President of Bahamas Hot Mix Anthony Myers. His company will also focus on curbing, sidewalks and the underground utilities including sewer and water mains. Corridor 7 runs from John F. Kennedy Drive, just across from Lakeview Cemetery and heading north into what will be the rerouted West Bay Street and the Baha Mar development.

Bahamas Marine Construction will bring its expertise to focus on heavy earthworks and the utilities for the bypass road. This bypass road will run from approximately where the Development Bank is located on West Bay Street, and curve to the south-west, then back up to the north-west to end to the west of where the Sheraton Nassau Beach Resort is today. The road will go as far south as where the old Hobby Horse race track’s grandstand would have been.

During the bid process for this portion of the work, there were initially six bidders, according to Baha Mar’s Senior Vice-president of Governmental and External Affairs Robert Sands. That list he said was pre-qualified to three, and although there was a winner ultimately the decision was made to have the joint venture with two of the bidders.

When the time comes for the old West Bay Street to be closed and the new one to be opened, said that there should be no impact on traffic, and the transition was expected to be seemless, according to Sands. He added that there will still be road access to the properties just west of the easternmost portion of the new road, such as Sulgrave Manor and the Breezes resort.

The roadworks are expected to begin in mid-January and the project is expected to take nine months to complete, president of Baha Mar Don Robinson said. According to Sands the road construction will be on areas of land that are currently unutilized. He said that this first part of the construction project will utilize 100%Bahamian owned and managed firms, and that there was no stipulation that either materials or labor be sourced from China.

On December 13 Baha Mar awarded contracts worth$15 million to four local contractors: John F. Dunn and Associates, Osprey Developers Co. Ltd., Cavalier Construction Co. Ltd. and CGT Construction. Those contractors will build the new Fidelity Bank, Commonwealth Bank, Scotiabank, and police and fire station facilities, respectively.

In the release related to the contract signing Baha Mar said that it is committed to an opening bidding process for all construction work. According to the release the process should ensure equal opportunity for all contractors who can meet the qualifications, safety, timing and work quality as demanded by Baha Mar’s project schedule and brand standards.

Some 4,000 Bahamians are anticipated to be employed during the construction period, which is expected to be completed in 2014.

Baha Mar will add about 2200 new rooms to the tourism market in New Providence once completed. The company estimates that 98%of its staff will be Bahamians, or about 7000 Bahamians once the resort opens.

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