About 70 per cent of Barbados’ roads are in a state of disrepair.
This was highlighted in an international road assessment project completed in 2017, according to Minister in the Ministry of Transport, Works and Maintenance, Peter Phillips.
“The results . . . showed that 30 per cent of our roads were good, 55 per cent were poor and 15 per cent were bad. In essence, we have 70 per cent of the roads in Barbados, based on that assessment, being classified as very poor and in need of repairs,” he told the Standing Finance Committee of Parliament this morning.
“The Ministry has a four-pronged approach, really, to this. We have a milling and paving programme, we have the road rehabilitation programme and then there is road reconstruction…and I think that this would be the area where we would have to target in terms of the 70 per cent of the roads – in fact, it may be more than that by now – that will need some attention.”
He said the Government viewed improving the island’s road infrastructure as critical and had given the Ministry $10 million to get equipment to get the road network repaired.
Phillips however maintained that prioritizing was necessary.
He said those roads that were in dire need of repair would be addressed first.
“The technical work has to be done by the technical officers within the ministry in terms of visiting and so on, and once this is reported to us . . . it will take some time, but once the technical officers visit, it will be prioritized,” Phillips said.
Deputy Chief Technical Officer Philip Tudor disclosed that it would take hundreds of millions of dollars to fix all the roads in need of repair. However, he said, due to the country’s financial constraints, complete road repairs is an unlikely goal at this time.
“We have 1,570 kilometres of road in Barbados and 65 per cent of that is in poor to very poor condition. When we did the maths, it would take $832 million to bring all of the roads that are in poor condition to roads that are in fair to good condition,” he explained.
“So we are basically making a little dent, not a big one, in these road repair programmes.”
Tudor said the Ministry was preparing to spend $3 million to upgrade Highway 2A, between Arch Hall Fire Station to Mile-and-a-Quarter.