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C.O. Williams gets $26.m. road contract

C.O. Williams gets $26.m. road contract


A burden has been placed on C.O. Williams & Company of Barbados to deliver value for money and meet their 18 month deadline for the completion of Phase Three of the Windward Highway -a portion of road from San Souci to Diamond.

At the signing ceremony of the EC$26,657,983 contract, awarded to the Barbadian company at the Cabinet Room on Tuesday, Prime Minister Dr. Ralph Gonsalves, still peeved over Dipcon Engineering’s failure to meet their December 2004 deadline, of Phase Two of the Windward Highway, appealed to C.O Williams & Company to get the job done on time because the motorists are the ones who are suffering.{{more}}

The 10-mile project is scheduled to commence on September 5.

It is funded by a loan from the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB) with counterpart contributions by the Government of St.Vincent and the Grenadines.

The work to be done involves the upgrading of the drainage system, provision of sidewalks where necessary, the rehabilitation of structures, and the reconstruction of road pavements.

The Prime Minister also disclosed that there will be four minor realignments along the road at Peruvian Vale, Spring, Bridgetown and South Union. He said these realignments are designed to provide driver comfort, safety and for the protection of the roadway. It was noted that though Argyle has been selected as the site for the International Airport repairs will still be carried out on the main road passing through that area in the interim.

And, conditions have been built into the contract, which will mitigate any negative environmental problems during construction and minimise road use discomfort, said the Prime Minister.

“It just has been a terrible inconvenience, so there is a burden placed on the new contractors for this particular phase not to have us go through an experience like that (referring to Dipcon Engineering’s failure to meet their deadline) because I do not know if the motorists are going to be able to restrain themselves from rebellion because it has really been terrible,” said Dr. Gonsalves to C.O Williams & Company representatives.

Dr. Gonsalves said the contract awarded to C.O Williams and Company is part and parcel of the whole reconstruction of the Windward Highway from Fancy to Kingstown.

The Prime Minister used the opportunity to announce plans for other road works on the windward end of the country. He said the government has agreed to complete the portion of road from Sandy Bay to Rabacca which will include the construction of a bridge over the Dry River, and from Rabacca to Langley Park and another section from Diamond to Kingstown.

Dr.Gonsalves added the portion from Langley Park to Rabacca will be financed largely by a grant from the Republic of China on Taiwan.The project he noted is out for tender.

The European Union at a cost of EC $18 million will finance the section from Rabacca to Sandy Bay which also includes a portion from Sandy Bay to Fancy. While this is being tendered a roadwork project from Diamond to Kingstown costing 6.4 million euros will also be tendered.

Deputy Prime Minister, Louis Straker, who also holds the post of Minister of Transport, Works and Housing, expressed that it is added expense when the roads are not in good condition.

Straker said he trusts that C.O Williams and Company “won’t let us down” in getting the roads done on time.

Meanwhile, Straker disclosed plans for a separate project to carry out repairs on roads throughout St.Vincent and the Grenadines at a cost of EC$23 million.

“The Prime Minister wants it done in three months,” the Deputy Prime Minister stressed.

Straker said at the completion of all the road projects, St. Vincent and the Grenadines might get the reputation of having some of the best roads in the Caribbean.

The ceremony was also attended by Parliamentary Secretary in the Ministry of Transport, Works and Housing, Senator Glen Beache and Permanent Secretary in that Ministry, Leon Snagg.