Government will shortly roll out a $35 million island-wide road network rehabilitation project.
Making the announcement during a tour of road projects in St. Philip this morning, Minister of Transport and Works, Michael Lashley, made it clear that priority would be given to the major highways and the tourism belt.
Lashley said, too, that roads which were on the list for upgrades for years would also be given much greater attention.
“Very shortly we will be announcing to the public a $35 million road package, which would then treat to roads throughout Barbados. We’ll be looking at St. Philip, St. Michael, St. Joseph, St. Andrew; all those roads we know that have been on the list for a number of years,” revealed the minister.
“We are operating in challenging economic times, and we will do what is necessary; we will do the priority roads. We will do roads obviously that are … smack within a district, in fact, the main arteries, and of course roads within the tourist belt.”
Stating that he would be adopting a more aggressive approach to road repairs, Lashley said the tour this morning was to look at work that began before he took over the ministry in March this year. He said he would strive to complete upgrades to more than 50 per cent of roads in Barbados during his tenure as minister, and today he visited two projects in St. Philip — the East Point to Well House and East Point to Bayfield programme and that at Duncans.
He told reporters the East Point venture, which started about two weeks ago, was being done in two phases at a cost of $4 million. Lashely expressed satisfaction at its progress, noting a scheduled completion date of between five and six months.
The Cabinet member gave the assurance that this work, which was being done by main contractor of Rayside Construction Limited, would also be shared by smaller contractors.
“This road wasn’t repaired for years. I can’t recall the number of years, but I know for a very, very long time. Look at the state of the road… I mean, we had complaints from the residents; it is a main artery, and we figured that this road, basically is really a priority road, and a road to be dealt with urgently,” he explained.
Lashley noted that residents had not yet been inconvenienced, but that a town hall meeting would be held to engage householders. Rehabilitation on the Duncans Road, meanwhile, which commenced on May 6, is due to be ready for full use in about three months, Lashley reported.
Officials in his ministry said separately, it was 45 per cent finished and may even be completed before the scheduled time. That road, which is a bus route for the Bayfield Transport Board service, is estimated to cost more than $300,000. Those repairs are being carried out by the Ministry of Transport and Works.
Lashley also assured residents of Gemswick and those along the Rock Hall to St. Martins, St. Philip Road project — and motorists — that relief was coming shortly from the dust and inconvenience.
“That will be completed very shortly. I want to assure the residents that the discomfort that they are going through, obviously we will deal with that very shortly,” he pledged. (EJ)