STATEMENT BY MINISTER FOR TRANSPORTATION, WORKS AND UTILITIES
HONOURABLE KYE RYMER
DURING THE SEVENTH SITTING OF THE FIRST SESSION OF THE FOURTH HOUSE OF ASSEMBLY
Thursday, 17th October, 2019
Updates on Rehabilitation of Roads, Bridges, Drainage
and Coastal Revetments/Rock Armour
Mr. Speaker, the condition and functioning of the roads, bridges, and coastal revetments/rock armour and drainage infrastructure is directly linked to the quality of life of our citizens.
When these pieces of infrastructure are not in good condition or in disrepair, they cause damage and accelerate the wear and tear on vehicles, and this costs our citizens money to repair.
Poor infrastructure is a safety hazard that can carry the high price of injury, or worse, to road users. In worse and extreme cases, failure of the infrastructure can cause inconvenience as roads and bridges become impassible. Poor drainage causes flooding. Good drainage can help to mitigate the effects of excessive rain, as we saw recently with the passing of Hurricane Dorian and Tropical Storm Karen.
With the people in mind, the Ministry of Transportion, Works and Utilities is doing our best to pay attention to the condition of our infrastructure. We are doing this while the infrastructure continues to be susceptible to the effects of wear and tear from weather action and use, as well as within the constraints of our resources.
Permit me to provide an update on some of the work that is underway with respect to maintenance, repair and upgrades to our roads, bridges, drainage and Northside coastal revetments/rock armour.
Road and Bridge Rehabilitation
Jost Van Dyke:
With respect to Road Undermining on two (2) areas of the eastern main road and one on the Southern side of Jost Van Dyke, Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to report that these areas have been designed, costed and now going through the dereservation process.
Following the dereservation process the contractors will be formally engaged and we estimate that works will begin on the ground at the end of October or early November 2019.
The Back and Doghole Roads are still being designed and I am optimistic that both those projects will break ground in 2019.
Designs are completed and are being costed for the Nail Bay Road rehabilitation and drainage solution in Virgin Gorda. I expect to have the Bill of Quantities for this very important project in a few days and at that time a decision will be made on the way forward. The Lee Road is substantially completed with one more drain cover to be installed over the coming days.
Regarding the rehabilitation of roads from the Green Land junction through Paraquita Bay, the Public Works Department has completed the majority of the road designs for a more resilient road infrastructure in those areas.
We are, however, unable to execute the new road designs until the installation of the East End/Long Look Sewerage network. In the interim, minor road maintenance works will be carried out within the next two weeks.
Mr. Speaker, preliminary designs for the most obvious undermined roads on Tortola has been submitted. These are the areas that wear the ply-form barricades. It is important to note these roads are loan funded through the CDB loan facility, which is normally a lengthy process. With the preliminary designs now being submitted, it is left clear for the Virgin Islands Government to accept the designs followed by public tenders to carry out the road rehabilitative works.
Frenchman’s Cay Bridge
The Frenchman’s Cay Bridge is a holding on borrowed time due to its poor condition and this is a major concern for residents, business owners and workers in that area. A team of engineers is currently on the ground conducting the Environmental Impact Study, the Geotechnical works and designs for a new Frenchman’s Cay Bridge.
Following these preliminary activities, the engineering designs will be completed in the coming weeks. Funding has been requested in the 2020 Budget Estimates for the construction of a new bridge.
Lower Nottingham Estate Road Undermining and Drainage
Mr. Speaker, the designs to address the severe undermining of the Lower Nottingham Estate Road are completed and now being costed. I am advised that the Bill of Quantities will be ready in the coming days as that these works can be mobilised in the coming weeks to bring relief to the residents in that area.
Sheppard’s Road Greenland
Contracts have been signed and awarded to begin road and slipper drainage works to Sheppard’s Road, Greenland. This project will bring relief to the residents in this area and is scheduled to be concluded in the coming weeks. Mr. Speaker, this is the road leading to Yvonne Crabbe’s residence that serves a number of residents the Representative for the Eighth District has been requesting to be repaired.
Fahie Hill/Great Mountain Junction Road and Drainage Repairs
Mr. Speaker, the failed drainage in the Fahie Hill/Great Mountain junction road area has made the traverse in this area very unpleasant for motorist over the years and to address this, the Public Works Department has designed a road and drainage solution that will correct this problem.
These works are in progress and will bring relief to the motoring public once concluded. With this said, I ask the public’s patience while these works continue.
Coastal Revetment/Rock Armour
Following the passage of the Super Hurricane Irma, extensive damage was done to our north-side coastal defenses on Tortola. Cane Garden Bay, Carrot Bay, Little Apple Bay and Long Bay are all severely affected and I am happy to report the following updates on these areas to this Honorable House.
The Completion of the Cane Garden Bay Coastal Revetment/Rock Armour
Mr. Speaker, the Ministry of Transportation, Works and Utilities is finalising the documentation to support the Cabinet Paper to approve the continuation of the Cane Garden Bay Coastal Revetment Project. I see a positive way forward for the mobilisation of this project in 2019.
Little Apple Bay and Long Bay Coastal Revetment/Rock Armour
The engineering firm, Smith-Warner International, that designed the coastal rock armour in Cane Garden Bay, which is still intact following the onslaught of Hurricane Irma, has submitted a proposal to design the Little Apple Bay and Long Bay revetment.
This will also be tabled before the Cabinet of the Virgin Islands for approval.
On conclusion of the designs and Bill of Quantities in 2019, as long as the estimated costs fall within the current budgetary provisions, the public can expect to see a public tender for this project in 2019 and the project completion in 2020.
Carrot Bay Coastal Revetment/Rock Armour
The Carrot Bay Coastal Revetment/Rock Armour project is also under the umbrella of the Caribbean Development Bank loan facility.
The preliminary designs have been submitted for this project and once these are accepted by the Virgin Island Government, the works will advance to the public tendering phase where eligible contractors will have an opportunity to bid for the said works.
I anticipate that these tenders will be published in early 2020.
Mr. Speaker, as you can see there is a lot of infrastructure work currently in progress at the Ministry of Transportation Works and Utilities.
I want to take this opportunity to thank the team in the ministry as they are indeed working with passion and dedication to do their part in bringing relief to citizens and to improve their quality of life.
I also want to thank all our stakeholders, especially the general public for their cooperation, patience and support as we get these improvements completed.
I thank you.