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$5 million road repair programme to focus mainly on village roads

$5 million road repair programme to focus mainly on village roads

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An EC$5 million road repair program that is currently underway in St. Vincent and the Grenadines is expected to focus mainly on village roads.{{more}}

Chief Executive Officer of the Bridges, Roads and General Services Authority (BRAGSA) Brian George said that while minimal work will be done on the main highways, the bulk of the repairs will be concentrated on the secondary village roads, which he noted were currently very problematic.

“Government, in its wisdom, considered it appropriate and necessary that we focus on these secondary village roads first, while maintaining as best as possible some level of drivers’ comfort on the highways, because what tends to happen is that we keep returning to the highways, and many of the village roads do not get works done to them.”

During the press conference held at BRAGSA’s Lower Bay Street headquarters on Monday, George outlined a number of areas where village roads will be undergoing repairs, indicating that the work spanned the length and breadth of the country.

He indicated that 30 plus of the more than sixty contracts for road repair jobs across the island have already been set in motion for the three-month program, which began in earnest in October.

According to George, barring any extreme or unforeseen occurrences, the program will be completed in early December.

“However, we have done significant planning and tried to as best as possible identify all the risks for possible bottlenecks that would affect implementation.”

“We anticipate and expect that there will always be glitches, but as we know, nothing is without problems.”

Some of these problems include the availability of road repair supplies and hampering weather conditions.

“The program will not be limited to repairs. Some upgrades will be undertaken as well,” George added.

“We will be establishing concrete roads or the completion of concrete roads, and even pedestrian access and river crossings in some areas.”

George, in his presentation, also indicated that the Authority had also taken the decision to expand its in-house capabilities, comprising pothole patching crews and the acquiring of tools and equipment.

George indicated that the EC$5 million program falls short of addressing many of the road infrastructural needs that exist in the nation, estimating that it will take at least $50 million to do a comprehensive repair and rehabilitation program.

“So as significant as this is, we realize that we will not and cannot address everything that needs to be done in St. Vincent and the Grenadines, as it relates to road repairs. However, it is a significant undertaking and we are aware that the public is always very concerned about what is being done about repairs to roads, and we thought it only appropriate and fitting that we bring them up to date on where we are and what we are proposing to do.”

Minister of Transport and Works Julian Francis who was also at the press conference indicated that with regard to the main highways, extensive work will soon begin on the Leeward Highway, while significant repair work will be done on the Windward Highway. (JJ)

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