Government is putting urgent measures in place to stop the Fairchild Street Bus Terminal from sinking further into the nearby waterway.
The current state of the terminal is also forcing the Freundel Stuart administration to review the proposed multimillion dollar Fairchild Street Redevlopment Project.
Minister of Agriculture, Food, Fisheries and Water Resource Management Dr David Estwick told Barbados TODAY this afternoon that his administration was moving swiftly to first halt the sinking.
This, Estwick said, would allow Government to start the long-delayed project, which involves the construction of a new integrated bus terminal for public and private sector concessionaires, shops and a new public market. He recalled that initially, the delay in beginning the complex, related to the relocation of vendors within the fore-court of the abandoned public market.
The minister also noted that the original infrastructure for the relocated kiosks on Probyn Street had to be redesigned since it did not get the approval of the Barbados Light & Power Company.
Estwick told this newspaper the Light & Power did not agree with the kiosks being built as close as they were.
“The critical problem that we now face is that the entire bus stand is sinking. That whole area is sinking. So we have to move with some urgency now, to redevelop and entire project. Now there is a project known as the Fairchild Street Redevelopment Project.
“That entire project conceives constructing a completely new bus stand and creating a whole new set of infrastructural facilities for business, small business vendors, kiosks, the whole range of things,” pointed out the minister.
Estwick said, too, it would involve building a bridge linking the minibus stand as well.
“We need therefore to move with haste on that particular project and include in that, obviously the place for the vendors, that are now displaced, as well as ensure that we rectify in the new bus stand construction, the sinking of the bus stand as it now occurs,” the Minister of Agriculture asserted.
“So Minister [Transport] Michael Lashley is also on the infrastructure committee . . . . I am the chairman; and we have already had two meetings on this particular project, and Minister Lashley is working with great haste now, to get the entire Fairchild Street Redevelopment Project, to the infrastructure committee, so we can get to Cabinet and ask Cabinet to move with great speed, so that we can solve the problems of the sinking of the bus stand itself and the areas surrounding that.”
As far as a start date is concerned, Estwick said Minister Lashley had had offers of interests already and once that data comes back in, Lashley would then bring the project to the committee so it could go before Cabinet as soon as possible.
“I know it [project] has to be done in three phases, that is the proposal from the ministry. But I can assure you, it is only a matter of a couple weeks, before Minister Lashley will have something to say about it, and the infrastructure committee will have very soon, a meeting of the Press, . . . and we will discuss all the projects that we would have approved over the last few months, where they are at, and we will then go and visit the various projects,” he disclosed. [email protected]