Government has spent $16.3 million on road repairs in the current financial year.
Deputy Chief Technical Officer in the Ministry of Transport and Works Philip Tudor, who declared that this type of funding on road infrastructure has never been spent in Barbados before, explained that the money was spent on 52 out of 135 community roads.
“The community roads were roads submitted by the 30 representatives and those community roads are roads in the residential and tenantry roads that were completed,” he said.
Tudor, who gave the update while contributing to the Appropriation Bill, 2022 Head 81 in the House of Assembly on Monday, also explained that work was done on 11 out of 62 roads [roads that are 1 kilometre or longer] listed on the CAF [Development Bank of Latin America] Road Rehabilitation Programme.
“You would have noticed that over the years we did roads … in the community districts. We started out in the south and we are moving towards the north. So, you would have seen residential roads being done in Christ Church, St Philip, parts of St Michael, St James, and we are heading north with that programme.
“So, although we have not reached, for example, certain areas in St Thomas, we did some roads in St George. We have not completed everything, but hopefully within another year or so we would, more or less, reconstruct the majority of those community roads that are in poor to very poor condition,” Tudor said.
The Deputy Chief Technical Officer also explained that highways are placed as first priority for infrastructural works because they are heavily used.
He said while there are ongoing efforts to fix the roads, the majority of roads in Barbados are bad. According to him, an evaluation of the road infrastructure in 2017 showed that 30 per cent of the island’s roads were considered to be in fair to good condition, while 70 per cent were in poor to very poor condition.
“The area where you have to scratch your head is to determine which road can be done with the amount of money that you get. That is why I suspect that, over the years, 70 per cent of the roads have turned from poor to very poor condition,” Tudor explained. (AH)