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PM: Govt has launched extensive roadworks program on NP

Prime Minister Dr. Hubert Minnis yesterday announced that the government has launched an extensive roadworks program throughout the country that would see significant infrastructural changes.

He also announced the expansion and construction of several airports on several major Family Islands, including the Exuma International Airport, the Deadman’s Cay Airport in Long Island, and the Great Harbour Cay Airport in the Berry Islands.

During his third national address for the year, Minnis outlined his administration’s plans for land reform, energy reform, the environment, general infrastructure and digital transformation and modernization.

“Infrastructure is not about steel and concrete and other material,” the prime minister said.

“Infrastructure is about improving the quality of life for all citizens and providing business opportunities for Bahamian entrepreneurs.

“Toward this end we have launched an extensive roadworks program the length and breadth of The Bahamas and New Providence.”

Among those roads that will see significant reconstruction is Gladstone Road, which has seen increased traffic congestion since the closure of Munnings Road and the opening of Fusion Superplex.

“I am happy to announce this evening that the design phase for the widening of the Gladstone Road corridor from two-lanes to four-lanes is about to commence,” Minnis said.

“The improvement to this corridor will increase the north-south road network capacity which will result in a reduction in delays along this congested corridor during heavy peak hour traffic.”

The prime minister also announced that the government will be seeking proposals from local consultants for the design and supervision of major thoroughfares throughout New Providence.

This would include the Tonique Williams-Darling Highway, between Bethel Avenue and John F. Kennedy Drive and Baillou Hill Road between Soldier Road and Cowpen Road.

He said the government plans to improve the section of road between Soldier Road and Carmichael Road by increasing the number of southbound lanes and by widening the section of Baillou Hill Road to Cowpen Road from two lanes to four lanes.

“We will continue with increasing the north-south road network capacity by extending the existing Milo Butler Highway southwards from Carmichael Road to Cowpen Road,” Minnis continued.

“The proposed project will comprise a new four-lane dual carriageway together with roundabout junctions, street lighting, drainage, sidewalks, traffic signs, road markings and landscaping.”

Minnis said his administration is also developing a design for the improvement of Coconut Grove between Baillou Hill Road and East Street, as well as junction improvements at Commonwealth Boulevard and Prince Charles Drive, and Arawak Cay and West Bay Street.

Other road works in New Providence will include a new roundabout at West Bay Street and Blake Road and the resurfacing of Village Road.

As for the Family Islands, Minnis noted that the reconstruction of roads in the North Andros settlements of Mastic Point, Nicholls Town and Conch Sound, including replacement of water mains, are progressing satisfactorily and nearing completion.

The $14.9 million contract, which started in June 2017, is due for completion in the months ahead, he said.

Additionally, the $4.55 million contract for the Ernest Dean Highway rehabilitation in Abaco commenced in March, and the $1.35 million contract for the Monument Road project in North Long Island started in January 2019 and is expected to be completed in January 2020.

“Public-private partnership (PPP) projects for a total sum of approximately $30 million dollars for road improvements are being considered for a number of other islands,” the prime minister said.

Traffic management center

In addition to the roadworks, Minnis also announced that the government is planning the establishment of a traffic management center to monitor all signals remotely, “in an effort to improve response times to any technical issues that require attention”.

“This traffic management center will also observe changes in traffic flow patterns and/or volumes; adjust signal timings to optimize the performance of the junction or signalized corridor and collect daily traffic data on a continuous basis,” he said.

Staff Reporter at The Nassau Guardian
Sloan covers national news for The Nassau Guardian. Sloan officially joined the news team in September 2016 but interned at The Nassau Guardian while studying journalism at the University of The Bahamas.
Education: Vrije Universiteit Brussel (University of Brussels), MA in Mass Communications
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