Cabinet hears of major roads improvement programmes for St. Kitts

Hon. Dr. Earl Asim Martin

BASSETERRE, ST. KITTS, APRIL 13TH 2012 (CUOPM) – The condition of roads in St. Kitts was the major talking point at Wednesday’s meeting of the St. Kitts and Nevis Cabinet.

The Hon. Dr. Earl Asim Martin, Minister of Public Works, Utilities, Local Transport and Housing, accompanied by the Director of Public Works, Mr. Calvin Pemberton, two engineers from the Public Works Department, and representatives and engineers from an engineering firm, ADeB Consulting, presented a comprehensive report of his ministry’s plan to improve the public roads in parts of Basseterre, Frigate Bay and the South-East Peninsula.

In his presentation, Dr. Martin updated his Cabinet colleagues on the physical condition of the roads in St. Kitts and discussed the ongoing activities within his ministry to improve and maintain public roads, generally.

Minister of Information, Sen. the Hon. Nigel Carty said the presentation to the Cabinet highlighted four components of the road improvement programme.

“Resurfacing of the road from the Bay Road in the vicinity of Port Zante, along Sandown, along the Frigate Road and to the third round-about at Frigate Bay, resurfacing of the road from the third round-about at Frigate Bay, along the South-East Peninsula (Dr. Kennedy Simmonds Highway) to the Sea Bridge at Majors Bay, and to Cockleshell Beach, the construction of a major round-about at the intersection of the Kim Collins Highway, the Frigate Bay Road and the Bird Rock Road and the construction of a 150 metre drive-through tunnel at Timothy Hill to address the issue of the falling of rocks from the hillside on that part of the road particularly as a result of erosion due to heavy rainfall over time,” said Minister Carty.

Mr. Carty further disclosed that engineers agreed that there was significant deterioration on these segments of the road network, and that given the increasing traffic on them over the years, it was critical from an economic as well as safety standpoint to make major improvements to the identified road segments.

“It was revealed that there is need for only surface work along specific points of the road but that work would have to be done to the sub-stratum in other areas given the damage done to it due to the seepage of rain water over the years,” said the Minister of Information.

He further pointed out that in respect of the road works to be done at Timothy Hill, two options were recommended and examined.

“One such option advocated was the benching (the excavation of the hill in a bench-like fashion) to reduce the risk of the falling of rock, but this was found to be too costly when weighed against the alternative. The option to create a covered tunnel was found to be acceptable. In addition to the tunnel, barriers are to be built on the hillsides where locals and visitors gather to enjoy the surrounding views,” said Information Minister Carty.

He said the Cabinet, under the chairmanship of the Rt. Hon. Dr. Denzil L. Douglas, was advised that the project could be executed in its entirety over a 20 month period depending on the implementation strategy adopted.

“Members were careful to stress the increasing use of the roads by our nationals and residents for walking and jogging for the purpose of physical exercise, and that consideration must be given to the accommodation of these pedestrians through the creation of sidewalks and crossings where feasible. The importance of the maintenance and enhancements of the aesthetics of the surroundings was also discussed and agreed upon,” said Minister Carty.

“Cabinet was strongly of the view that the project must provide significant opportunities for our local truckers, heavy equipment operators, skilled tradesmen and women, unskilled workers and local service providers to be employed, to do business, and to benefit from the project,” said the Information Minister in the Post Cabinet Briefing.

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