Work finally starts on Fishing Hole Causeway
Fishing Hole Causeway has been closed for repairs, which are slated to be completed by month’s end, according to Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Works Luther Smith.
Smith told Grand Bahama News on Sunday, “The service road has been completely repaved and is now open to motorists.
“Work has already started on the causeway and should be completed before the end of this month of March. In the meantime, motorists are urged to exercise caution on the service road. It is not intended to be a highway.”
The causeway was closed after workers spent last week working on the service road.
Week before last, West Grand Bahama District Chief Councillor George “Jimmy” Smith opened the causeway without authorization.
The poor condition of the service road became a concern when motorists were forced to use it as an alternate to the causeway, which was closed in December by the Grand Bahama Port Authority (GBPA) for assessment and repairs after a number of “slip and slide” accidents during wet weather.
Authorities advised motorists to use the lower service road to and from West Grand Bahama, as they estimated it would take two months to complete work on the bridge.
But with no work being done on the causeway and frustrated drivers complaining that the pitted surface and potholes on the service road were damaging their vehicles, Smith, the chief counselor, on March 1, removed the concrete barriers blocking the causeway to allow motorists to use it.
“I don’t think it had to come to where Mr. Smith had to take action and open the bridge for authorities to take move,” said Lynn Arthur, an Eight Might Mile Rock resident.
“I have to use this road daily and the condition that it was in was deplorable. The authorities said it would take eight or so weeks to repair the bridge, that was from December.
“It was said that Mr. (Jimmy) Smith had to basically force them to fix the side road properly for us to use and then start working on the bridge. Why couldn’t they have done that in the beginning? Just wasting money, over and over for one project … and they are saying the country broke.”
Another West Grand Bahama resident, Alexander Williams, said, “As Grand Bahamians, it looks as though if we don’t take a stand, nothing will be done for us.
“We have to force the government, the Port Authority and everybody in power hands to do something for us by taking action. I think if Mr. Smith hadn’t moved those barricades, we would still be driving on the horrible side road.
“It’s a shame, but we have to do what we have to do to get things done for Grand Bahama.”
Smith camped out at the site to ensure work began as promised by the authorities.
The Ministry of Works said, “The contract for the repairs has been awarded to Bahamas Hot Mix (BHM) Company Ltd.
“BHM was chosen as the preferred contractor at this time, due to their responsiveness and ability to mobilize immediately, having the available resources to execute the works within the required time frame. The expected duration of work is anticipated to be four to five weeks.”
The chief counselor thanked the government, Bahamas Hot Mix, the GBPA and the Ministry of Works’ team – Grand Bahama and New Providence – for getting the work done on the service road.
He also advised residents driving in and out of West Grand Bahama to adhere to the speed limit.
“Now that the service road is paved and smooth, please use caution,” said Smith.
“Do not speed; be wise.”