Madam Speaker, we are very proud of the Territory-wide Roads Improvement Programme to date and I know that our motorists are as well.
To date, we have repaired and upgraded the Blackburne Highway from the Beef Island Bridge to Parham Town, following the completion of the National Sewerage Project in that area.
Madam Speaker, in the first quarter of 2015, this road programme continued, with the securing of a $16 million loan from the BVI Social Security Board.
From that, we apportioned funds to cover projects on Tortola, Anegada, Virgin Gorda and Jost Van Dyke.
To date, we have spent just under $7 million.
Madam Speaker, on Tortola, we have completed substantial works in the following areas:
1. Meyers Estate from Rudy’s Bar junction to Soldier Hill junction;
2. Meyers Estate from Rudy’s Bar junction across Chalwell up to the Treadfall junction. This road resurfacing will continue to the Sage Mount/Windy Hill junction;
3. We removed the damaged portions of the James Walter Francis Drive on both lanes from the Port Purcell roundabout to the Wickham's Cay roundabout, using the new milling machine and replaced that with a new asphalt resurfacing.
Madam Speaker, we have also completed asphalt overlay in the following areas:
1. Kingston to Brandywine Bay;
2. Spring Ghut to a part of Hope Hill and we are expecting to continue to the top of Hope Hill adjacent to the Hope Hill Church of God. Following the completion of the water transmission line upgrade from Sabbath Hill to Chalwell, the Ridge Road will be widened and completely overlaid with asphalt;
3. Slaney to Duffs Bottom and we are currently installing sidewalks down to the Ebenezer Thomas Primary School in Sea Cow's Bay, which will be followed by road realignment and paving in January; and
4. The Isabella Morris Primary School in Carrot Bay to the Freshwater Pond junction. Included here was the demolition and reconstruction of the Carrot Bay Bridge, now nearing completion.
Madam Speaker, we expect to continue works from:
1. The Ebenezer Thomas Primary School in Sea Cow's Bay to Pockwood Pond, following the installation of the BVI Electricity Corporation power transmission lines to Long Bush;
2. The Ridge Road from the Belle Vue junction across to Chalwell, following the Water and Sewerage transmission line upgrade; and from
3. Parham Town junction to Brandywine Bay, following the National Sewerage Project forced main installation and outfall pipeline to the ocean outside of Brandywine Bay.
In the meantime, Madam Speaker, we will be doing some light asphalt overlay in these areas, as a temporary measure to improve the safety of these roads for the traveling public.
As I speak, an entirely new road leading from the new Tortola Pier Park on the south side of the Central Administration Complex, along the west wing, joining Admin Drive, is being completed by the end of today.
Madam Speaker, on Anegada, we are in the process of constructing approximately two (2) miles of road from just below the Setting Point jetty down to Cow Wreck.
We have completed approximately 3500 feet or just under 60% of a mile of kerb walls and road sub base.
Asphalt overlay is expected to be done in January.
We have also resurfaced about a mile of road throughout The Settlement.
Madam Speaker, on Virgin Gorda, we have resurfaced Millionaire Road and we are about 50% complete with the sidewalks.
We will be commencing with drainage works, installation of sidewalks and the resurfacing of North Road early in the New Year and we also intend to complete the paving of the road leading to Sailor's Well.
In addition, we will move forward with Phases 1 and 2 of the Lee Road Project in 2016.
Phase 1, which is funded by the Caribbean Development Bank CDB, will see works taking place from the junction between Little Hill and Lee Road to the Catholic Community Centre, while Phase 2 will cover from the Catholic Community Centre to the Pump Well.
The works will include the removal of the existing asphalt, redevelopment of the sub base for the realignment of the road, inclusion of a drainage system, the installation of sidewalks and then resurfacing.
Madam Speaker, on Jost Van Dyke, we have completed the second half of the paved road from Foxy's Taboo in East End to the Public Works Department.
In 2016, we expect to upgrade the drainage system on the Bottom Road, leading from Rudy's Bar and Restaurant to Foxy's Bar and Restaurant, which will be followed by resurfacing.
We also intend to upgrade the port of entry at Dog Hole, to improve the Departure Lounge, parking and the road infrastructure to the port.
Madam Speaker, I have been receiving very favorable comments from members of the public regarding the ongoing upgrades to our road network and I take this opportunity to say thank you, on behalf of the Premier and Government, for acknowledging our hard work.
I must also say thank you to the committed team at the Ministry of Communications and Works, the Public Works Department, the contractors and tradesmen and women, who have been and continue to work on the road projects.
We encourage the motoring public to drive with extreme caution in areas where these works are being carried out and on our newly resurfaced roads as well.
Remember, safety is key.
Thank you Madam Speaker.