Gov’t seeks help for road works
Amid scathing criticism surrounding the handling of the multimillion-dollar New Providence Road Improvement Project (NPRIP), Prime Minister Hubert Ingraham confirmed yesterday that the government is seeking outside help for the remainder of the project.
Over the past several months, some members of the public have become increasingly frustrated over the controversial road works, which have led to lengthy road closures, detours, and traffic delays as several major roads have been closed simultaneously for months.
Ingraham told reporters yesterday that several engineers who worked on the Baha Mar road project will be hired to assist with the project.
The new West Bay Street, which opened last week, took nine months to complete. While the NPRIP is significantly larger than the Baha Mar road project, some observers have suggested the Baha Mar road project was better planned.
“The New Providence Road Improvement Project is challenging,”Ingraham said on the sidelines of a Flag Day Ceremony at St. Bede’s Catholic School.
“We are accessing some of the engineering persons to help down there because the engineering persons who are down there they have come from other jobs so we’re going to use their service.
“The public can look forward to a relatively hassle free Christmas season. Baillou Hill Road will be paved[from]Soldier Road in the south, up to Government House. Market Street will come from Robinson Road to Ross Corner and continue along.”
Ingraham said all of the 11 corridors will be open before Christmas.
“You should have no particular difficulty other than the usual traffic jams, but not because of the road works,”he said.
The government signed a $120 million contract for the work in December 2008 with Argentinian firmJose Cartellone Construcciones Civiles (JCCC).
The government received a loan for the road work from the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB).
The project was supposed to take just under three years to finish, which places the completion date around January next year.
However, it is unlikely that the target date will be reached, according to officials.
The work includes installation of a 24-inch water main from Fox Hill Road and Prince Charles Drive in the east to the junction at Baillou Hill and Robinson Road, which is expected to improve water quality.
As contractors continue to face challenges on the roads in the inner city,Ingraham said work is continuing in the downtown area.
“We are going to begin scarifying the entire Bay Street on Sunday night, from Cumberland Street to Elizabeth Avenue and put down one and a half inch [layer of tar] as the first coat,”Ingraham said.
“We will finish all of that work no later than the 30th of November so you will have a December that’s free and clear in the city of Nassau.”
He added that Charlotte Street will be cobble-stoned instead of paved, and will be used primarily for pedestrian traffic.
As it relates to George Street, which was closed off earlier this week, Ingraham said the sewer system collapsed in the area.
The prime minster said as soon as that is fixed, paving will commence in that area.
Meanwhile, he said BTC is completing some underground utility work on Parliament and Frederick Streets. Upon completion of those works paving will begin.
Ingraham said those works are expected to be done sometime next year.