Minister of Transport and Works Dr William Duguid is reminding motorists who are frustrated by the ongoing highway rehabilitation that the better road infrastructure craved by all Barbadians will not be possible without some level of inconvenience.
The Minister was responding this morning to complaints of gridlock, stretching from Norman Niles roundabout to Hothersal Turning. Last Tuesday, motorists experienced severe traffic congestion when four lanes of traffic were reduced to two to carry out road works. The situation was made worse as vehicles were not allowed to divert through the Belle as that road was also under construction.
Duguid said while he understood the plight of commuters, it was simply a matter of “no gain without pain.”
“I am asking people to bear with us and to understand that there are certain things that we have to do and there are certain processes that we have to go through which are required not only from an engineering point of view but also our financiers [who] require progress reports,” said Duguid, responding to questions from Barbados TODAY following a tour of poorly maintained roads in the constituency of St George South.
The Minister Transport and Works suggested that based on the share volume of road rehabilitation work ahead, and that Government was attempting to conduct phases of road repairs in quick succession, congestion was likely to get worse before it gets better.
“Once we get that area repaved then the next area we have to start on quickly is the bottom of University hill up to West Road. That one is going to be little more difficult because it is an even narrower road with no additional throughput like how we have at the western side of the ABC Highway,” Duguid pointed out.
It was revealed that the works would go into Greenland while simultaneously being carried out on about 30 minor roads.
Duguid said, much of the road infrastructure had been neglected for too long.
On the bright side, the Minister noted that works are moving along quite rapidly and even though he was reluctant to give a completion time, he was confident motorists would regain full use of the roads in the not too distant future.
“With respect to the IDB [Inter Development Bank] on the highway, we have started the work and we will be doing it at nights, we have milled a significant portion of the highway and we have started to repave it in a very short space of time. I don’t like to give dates because if I give a timeline and we don’t meet that date for whatever reason you are held to it. We are working assiduously and as quickly as possible.