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Pavement begins on Argyle international airport runway

Pavement begins on Argyle international airport runway

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Pavement work has begun on the runway of the Argyle international airport, and work on the terminal building is 92 per cent completed.{{more}}

“We have a commitment to complete this project next year and we are going to complete the project next year, God’s willing,” said Dr Rudy Mathias chief executive officer (CEO) of the International Airport Development Company (IADC).

Mathias, addressing members of the media who were touring the site on Tuesday, also revealed that the first kilometre of the runway has already been based.

“We are doing the basing which has extended up to almost two kilometres. The runway is 2,743 metres and we are laying base up to 1900 metres,” he explained.

He, however, said that basing of the runway has not gone beyond 1,900 metres, because of the Yamboo River, which flows across the runway.

The IADC CEO said five parallel culverts have to be built in order to have the river flow under the runway.

According to Mathias, the IADC has recently signed a contract with a Mexican firm to obtain the culverts. He said a deposit has already been made and the company is now in the process of putting some of these culverts in containers to ship to St Vincent.

“We are expecting that sometime this month we will start receiving some of these sections of the culverts and as they come, we are going to start installing them. The idea is that we will start this installation process and that may go up to January or February next year.

“But while we are doing the culvert installation, we will also continue to work on the runway that is beyond the river….

“We have, with the help of the Prime Minister and his Government, identified all the money that we need and the money is coming in as we need it and we are able to proceed with the work of building this airport,” Mathias stated.

In relation to the terminal building, Mathias says the Overseas Engineering and Construction Company(OECC), the company that was contracted to build the terminal, are planning to hand over the building “very early in December.”

“In fact, they have a date set of November 30 and when they hand over the terminal building to us, we are going to start the retrofitting of the terminal building. Meaning to put in the conveyer belts, the desks, the immigration counters and so on and that work will extend of course, into next year.

“Our idea is to try to get the retrofitting of the terminal building done by mid next year as well, so that with God’s grace and help, we should have the construction work completed by the middle of next year.

“After that, of course, we will be testing the equipment and then our dear Prime Minister can say let the planes land.”

Meanwhile, Prime Minister Dr Ralph Gonsalves describes the progress made on the construction of the Argyle international airport as miraculous.

“To see what existed here when we commenced construction in August of 2008, and to see where we are, it is remarkable.

“We would have had many challenges along the way, technical, financial, managerial, but for every challenge, we found a solution.

“We are now in the final stages and we are on target to open this airport this time next year,” a confident Gonsalves said. (AA)

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