Residents in Pot House, St. John, will have a new road leading to their homes within two to three months.
Prime Minister Mia Amor Mottley toured the district last Monday after residents complained to the Daily Nation about the state of the road, describing it as dangerous.
Prime Minister Mottley noted that while it was clear that the Barbados Water Authority needed to complete reinstatement work in the area, there were also drainage problems which had caused serious erosion and which needed to be addressed before anything else could be done.
Speaking to the media at the end of the tour, the Prime Minister stated: “To reinstate without dealing with the drainage problem is to spend good money after bad, and therefore what has to happen, as I have been advised, is that you have to make sure that the drains that have been blocked are no longer blocked…. They are going to redesign the road; they are going to have to build the culverts off site and install the culverts and instead of just reinstating the road because of the state of the erosion; it has to be fully rebuilt.”
Revealing that the project would be financed with funding from the Latin American Development Bank, Ms. Mottley said that work would start immediately with the box drains being built over the Christmas season.
While the project is expected to last at least two to three months because of the scale of the work, she said that immediate steps would be taken to put some “temporary fixes” in place in order to alleviate the problems being experienced by delivery trucks trying to access the area, as well as potential challenges to ambulances and fire trucks.
Going forward, she said that it had been agreed by the BWA that there had to be a set timeline for reinstatement of roads after work is carried out, suggesting that 72 hours after the job was completed was reasonable.
She further revealed that by January 10, 2020, the Ministry of Transport, Works and Maintenance is expected to complete an inventory and audit of all the culverts and drains in the island overseen by its 13 depots.
And, along with the $10 million in equipment voted for the Ministry of Transport, Works and Maintenance in the 2018 budget, Ms. Mottley hinted that more money would be forthcoming next year.
She said that the savings which had accrued from Government’s decision to engage in bulk procurement, with a reduction in the price of materials of between 20 and 25 per cent, would allow for the rehabilitation of more roads.
She made it clear that roads to be fixed would be selected solely on the basis of the greatest need.