Minister of Transport and Works Michael Lashley has issued a new deadline for completion of work on the River Bus terminal.
Speaking following a tour of the project, which is located on the site of the old Queen’s College School building in The City, Lashley said taking into consideration current financial constraints, the earlier completion date of June this year was unlikely to be met, but suggested a new deadline of October or thereabouts.
He acknowledged there was still a lot of work to be done on the project, but expressed hope that it would be completed during the course of the year.
The Minister of Transport and Works suggested that among other things, an Internet cafe will be set up on the third floor of the terminal, so that students who disembark from the units can engage in productive pursuits while awaiting the arrival of their parents who may be employed in The City or its environs.
During the 90-minute tour, Lashley led a team of ministry officials and stakeholders through the building to observe the work done on the facility to date.
The group was shown the area that will house the main terminal, which is expected to accommodate about 300 commuters; the male and female washrooms; as well as the second floor where offices of the Transport Authority, the Royal Barbados Police Force, transport inspectors and the umbrella organizations for private sector vehicles will be located.
Afterwards, Lashley said he was satisfied with progress to date.
“There is a lot of preparatory work that we are doing. As you would have seen, personnel from the Government Electrical Department visited the site today and they are doing the surface electrical work . . . . We have done fairly substantial work. We have actually completed the priming and painting of the interior of the structure, we have cut windows in the terminal to improve the ventilation where commuters are expected to assemble while awaiting transportation, we have also started construction of the male and female washrooms on the ground floor,” Lashley added.
The St Philip North MP disclosed that his ministry has retained private contractors to assist Ministry of Transport and Works employees to push forward the work.
As part of the second phase of the project, the Ministry of Transport and Works will put out to tender, work on the main concourse.
The new terminal will also accommodate outlets for small operators.
In welcoming the update, Interim Chairman of the Association of Public Transports Owners Morris Lee noted that between December 2015, when the project began, and the present, some electrical and infrastructural work had been done.
Meanwhile, Director of the Transport Authority Alex Linton told operators that during the construction of the terminal, units that were parked on the western side of the tarmac will still be entering the River Bus Stand through Nursery Drive and exiting through the same road.
Linton however said operators of units parked on the eastern side of the tarmac will enter the bus stand by way of the road near the funeral home and exit the bus stand through Nursery Drive. (NC)