Statement by Hon Kye Rymer
Minister for Transportation, Works and Utilities
at the Fifth Sitting of the Second Session of the Fourth
House of Assembly of the Virgin Islands
On Road and Bridge Rehabilitation
20th February 2020
Mister Speaker, I rise to update this Honourable House and the citizens of the Virgin Islands on the progress being made with my ministerial portfolio. The Ministry of Transportation, Works and Utilities (MTWU) continues to forge ahead towards the improvement of infrastructure and utilities of our beloved Virgin Islands.
Jost Van Dyke:
Minister Speaker, on Jost Van Dyke, there are undermining in two (2) specific areas on the eastern main road and one (1) on the Southern side. I am pleased to report that of the two areas on the eastern end, one has already started. The other areas are on the heels of mobilization whereas the contracts are already signed.
Designs for the Backroad and bridge/drainage underpass are completed and are being costed.
With regards to the Doghole Road, while designs and costing are completed, there are some land encroachment matters that are under discussions with landowners and the Ministry of Natural Resources and Labour.
Mister Speaker, the Nail Bay Road rehabilitation and drainage solution project is well advanced with the damaged section already been restored. Once again the road is fully opened and motorists are asked to adhere to all traffic signs.
The design stage is in progress for the bypass road from Leverick Bay to Gun Greek, following the costing and availability of the funds, this is intended to be a 2020 project.
Mister Speaker, Road rehabilitation, Road Undermining and Retaining Wall Structures and Drainage Solutions throughout Tortola will see works commencing this year. The specified areas listed are funded through the Caribbean Development Recovery and Rehabilitation Loan as follows:
Fish Bay Road – Road Resurfacing and Drainage Solutions; (Tender Stage)
Great Mountain – Road Restoration (Tender Stage)
Hope Hill - Road Restoration (Tender Stage)
Little Dix Bay – Road Restoration (Tender Stage)
Ballast Bay – Road Restoration (Tender Stage)
Long Trench – Road Restoration (Tender Stage)
Lower Fort Hill – Road Restoration (Tender Stage)
These projects are now at the tender stage through the services of the consultant hired through the loan agreement. The consultant has currently completed his assessments and designs and the projects listed are available through a National Competitive Bidding process. The works of the consultant prior to reaching this juncture is quite detailed and I would seek to outline the key stages undertaken prior to the bids being available for tender. The first stage undertaken by the consultant is the development of a inception report which include the preliminary site and vulnerability assessments. Afterwards, the preliminary site designs are developed and subsequently reviewed by the project team. The final stage is the complete construction details and designs which include the bill of quantities, tender documents and the environmental management plan. When that is completed by the consultants, the documents are forwarded to the CDB for their approval. Once approval is obtained from CDB, the Government’s Procurement Unit via the Ministry of Finance will finalize the tender documents and the tenders are advertised for a minimum of six weeks. Clearly this is a tedious and detailed process. Separate to the CDB loan funding, are additional road rehabilitation and drainage solutions projects that are being funded through the Government of the Virgin Islands local development funds. The specified areas that my ministry has prioritized for development are listed as follows:
Upper Fort Hill – Drainage Solutions and Road Restoration (Assessment Stage)
Windy Hill – Road Restoration (Design Stage)
Joe’s Hill – Road Rehabilitation (Design Stage)
Pockwood Pond – Road Rehabilitation (Design Stage)
Zion Hill – Road Rehabilitation (Design Stage)
Cooten Bay Road – Road Surfacing and Drainage Solution (Mobilisation of works stage)
George’s Northside (Phase II) – Road Rehabilitation and Drainage Solution (Costing Stage)
These projects are in various stages of design and are being developed through the Public Works Department. It is anticipated that these locally funded projects will come commence starting in the 2nd Quarter of 2020.
Sheppard’s Hill Road Greenland
Mister Speaker, the Sheppard’s Hill Road is 90% completed, additional designs are needed to complete a small section of this road for its completion.
Hannah Hill Road
Mister Speaker, the Hannah Hill Road restoration project is in progress and is scheduled to be completed in the coming weeks.
Upper McNamara Bypass Road
The rehabilitation and drainage solution works on the upper McNamara Bypass Road is completed and opened for vehicular traffic.
Our Government of inclusion has left no Sister Island out. Mister Speaker, on the island of Anegada, a number of secondary road projects will be underway, the designs and costing has been completed and are now going through the de-reservation process.
Mister Speaker, with regards to the continuation of the main road works to the Cow Wreck area, I will be giving an update at a later date however, some remedial works will be done to bring some relief to the residents and visitors of the Sister Island.
Mister Speaker, I am fully aware of the challenges our residents and visitors experience as they traverse the Territory’s roadways. Though these are longstanding issues, today I mainly refer to the usual areas that have been an annoyance to drive on, especially since the super storms of 2017; Fort Burt area to McNamara junction, Parham Town to Paraquita Bay, Little Apple Bay, Myers towards Soldier Hill, and the Windy Hill road Tortola, just to name a few. Mister Speaker, these and other areas are scheduled to be addressed with an additional methodology of properly preparing the areas and using tack oil as a sealant as a longer lasting remedy until funding is sourced to properly engineer and rebuild these roads.
Rebuilding the Territory's road network is of utmost to this Government, and as such, a brand new environmentally friendly asphalt plant was purchased and as part of the purchase, trained technicians will provide coaching for our PWD team whose job it is to operate the plant.