After months of inconvenience and uncertainty, Barbadians doing business in Bridgetown will have full access to the Lewis/Wickham Boardwalk in a matter of weeks.
The section of wooden walkway between the Chamberlain Bridge and the lights near Chefette Restaurants was due to reopen by the end of August last year after it was closed for six to eight weeks for refurbishment work, Barbados Port Inc had announced at the end of June last year.
However, work ground to a halt and the project dragged on for an additional eight months.
Today, Chief Executive Officer of Barbados Port Inc David Jean Marie told Barbados TODAY the delay was due to problems with sourcing of ropes and specialized Ipé wood, which is widely used in hardwood flooring, cladding and decking.
“I would say the boardwalk should reopen within another two weeks. The delay related to not having the type of wood we wanted. It is a specially imported wood from Guyana called Ipé, as well as the rope. So we should have all the necessary pieces in place within another two weeks,” the port executive said.
“It looks really good. We regret the length of time it has taken to get it back in service, but it will be on very soon.”
When Barbados Port Inc announced the six to eight-week closure, it had said it was to allow contractors PNC Construction and Equipment Rentals Inc to carry out the refurbishment work.
But as Christmas approached and progress seemed stunted, Committee member of The Barbados Revitalization Initiative Sharon Christie had told Barbados TODAY the delay was disconcerting.
Worse yet, Christie had said, no one appeared to know what was happening or how long the project will drag on.
“None of us can get an answer as to when it is going to be finished, and that is a problem,” she said.
“Here we are going into the tourist season . . . and it is no different. What are they doing that can take that long? Is work happening or has it been stalled? I don’t know the answers. All I know is that tourists, tour buses, taxi men and [pedestrians] are all inconvenienced.
“That boardwalk should be finish and I would like somebody to give us an answer as to why it is not finished and more importantly, when is it going to be finished. That is the more important answer I would like,” Christie had said at the time.