Madam Speaker, during the last sitting of this Honourable House, I provided a comprehensive update, on the Government’s plans, to improve the quality of the road network throughout the Territory.
It is quite evident and I am pleased to report, Madam Speaker, that, significant progress has been made since then, as we continue to design and execute works, on Tortola, Anegada, Virgin Gorda and Jost Van Dyke.
The Public Works Department continues to collaborate with teams from the private sector, Madam Speaker, through a Public Private Partnership, or PPP programme.
Madam Speaker, there are several teams working on Tortola:
- We are continuing drainage improvement and road resurfacing works from Parham Town to the Fat Hog’s Bay junction;
- Designs have already been completed for new roads and drainage in Purcell Estate, from the junction in Free Bottom leading to the ghut next to Brewley’s Superette. Madam Speaker, two teams have been assigned to this project and work should begin within the next week;
- We have also completed designs of the Free Bottom Road from Brewley’s Superette out to the Qwomar/Fort Hill junction. Work is expected to begin within the next week, on edge of road and slipper drains in this area;
- Madam Speaker, we have completed the designs and dispatched three teams, who have been working over last two weeks, putting in edge of roads, slipper drains and curb walls, as we prepare to resurface the road from Rudy’s Bar in Meyer’s, to the Soldier Hill/Cane Garden Bay junction;
- Madam Speaker, the Ministry has contracted a Project Supervisor, along with four teams comprising six individuals, to work on the resurfacing of the road from the Isabella Morris Primary School in Carrot Bay, leading to the crossroad at Gracie’s junction at Freshwater Pond. Designs are approximately 50% completed.
- Madam Speaker, a team has been dispatched to design drainage and edge of roads, including sidewalks, leading from the Prospect Reef roundabout, west to the Ebenezer Thomas Primary School in Sea Cow’s Bay; and
- We have also dispatched a team to complete designs of drainage, edge of road and where possible, a bicycle lane, from Palestina junction, west to the Sopher’s Hole Ferry Terminal.
Madam Speaker, a major aspect of the road network improvement programme, includes the dual carriageway in Road Town.
As you would have noticed, Madam Speaker, over the last week, as we continued to plan and put in place the necessary resources to execute these major works, we have continued work on the dual carriageway.
Madam Speaker, the southern side of the carriageway, towards the seaside, sustained quite a bit of damage over the years, mostly as a result of wear and tear and poor drainage.
With the recent commissioning of new road paving equipment, Madam Speaker, the Public Works Department is now carefully removing approximately two (2) inches of the surface asphalt that’s damaged, from Delta gas station to the Wickham’s Cay roundabout and resurfacing the road.
These works are expected to continue over the next two weeks, on a nightly basis.
Madam Speaker, following major sewerage works in Road Town, we have now started road reconstruction works at Boo Bay Drive, Parker Street (alongside Josh Bakery or Central Bakery) and also on Chalwell Street.
These works are expected to be completed by this weekend.
Madam Speaker, this Government continues to regard the safety and reliability of the Territory’s road network as a key priority.
As a result, we have dispatched thirteen (13) teams on Virgin Gorda to commence the installation of guard rails, in areas we consider to be the most dangerous and vulnerable.
I took a team over to Virgin Gorda on Friday 27th February, where we met with residents and officers of the Public Works Department and toured some of the sites earmarked for immediate rehabilitation.
In consultation with the Representative for the District, Honourable Ralph O’Neal, Madam Speaker, we were able to identify several road rehabilitation projects that would also include drainage works and edge of road construction.
These projects, Madam Speaker, are being designed and we expect construction work to commence within the next month on Virgin Gorda.
Madam Speaker, I was also on Jost Van Dyke on Friday 23rd January, where I met with residents and a team from the Public Works Department and visited some of the sites there as well.
Some of the works expected to be undertaken in the next quarter on Jost Van Dyke, include drainage improvement and paving of the Bottom Road leading from Rudy’s Bar to Foxy’s Restaurant.
Also on Jost Van Dyke, Madam Speaker, we will be undertaking road expansion works from the Public Works Department compound at East End, through to Foxy’s Taboo, to complete a project that was started a little over three years ago.
In addition, Madam Speaker, at the Dog Hole Ferry Terminal on Jost Van Dyke, we are looking at the possibility of obtaining additional land space, to accommodate extra parking.
We have already dispatched a team of residents to execute road rehabilitation works on the island of Anegada and we expect these works to commence on Monday 16th March.
Madam Speaker, while these works are ongoing, we have also sent a Public Works team from Tortola to Anegada and they have already completed designs for road construction, from Setting Point to Cow Wreck.
Madam Speaker, it is quite a comprehensive plan that this Government has in place, to improve the road network infrastructure on the four major islands.
As we execute this programme, we are mindful that there will be some inconvenience to residents with regards to traffic diversions and noise pollution.
I wish to assure this Honourable House, Madam Speaker, that the Ministry of Communications and Works, takes into consideration all stakeholders, while planning the execution of such projects.
It is often a difficult balancing act, Madam Speaker, and so we ask for the public’s understanding, continued patience and cooperation, as these works are undertaken, for the benefit of the entire Territory.
I am pleased that these works have given rise to employment opportunities for many persons throughout the Territory, including several young men in the various Districts.
As our road work projects continue, the Ministry invites persons who may be interested in temporary employment, to contact the Human Resources Unit within the Public Works Department.
I highly commend the teams from the Public Works Department and the private sector, for their diligence in executing these projects in a professional manner and I would encourage them to continue to take all safety precautions, to avoid any mishaps along the way.
Thank you Madam Speaker.