Maintaining Public Infrastructure Is Critically Important, Says The Director Of PWD

Basseterre, St. Kitts, May 26, 2021 (SKNIS): George Gilbert, Director of the Public Works Department (PWD), said that public infrastructure assets are a foundation of a country’s economic development, hence the importance of ensuring that they are maintained and remain in good condition.

“The public infrastructure is very important and critical to all of us and the number of vehicles that are coming on the road is increasing on a daily basis. The activities in our country are moving in a more tourist direction and the tourists are looking for that kind of road network which facilitates that quick movement from point A to point B in a quick time and in a smooth way,” said Mr. Gilbert during the May 26 edition of Working for You.

He added that before the resurfacing of the South East Peninsula, tourists were discouraged from touring that area. However, since the upgrades, tourists frequent the area for food and fun.
“The public, our tourists, the economy on a whole, we are looking for that kind of network where you can flow and move quickly and safely from one point to the next,” he said.

Engineer at PWD, LaReine Gumbs, said a road network can last for 15 years, however, without proper maintenance, the high value of any road network can quickly deteriorate.

“The asphalt is guaranteed for 15 years once you have proper drainage, and even having little cuts now and then with maybe the utility companies having to cut the road for whatever reason… Any cut given into that road gives the road a weak spot which causes further deterioration. So even though you might say a road has a lifespan of 15 years that lifespan could be reduced to a lower lifespan,” said Ms. Gumbs. “Hence the reason for maintenance.”

She noted, however, that any crack in the road that is picked up and repaired early, the lifespan will remain. She reiterated that “drainage again plays a very vital role and especially when we come to the lower part of the island where it is basically flat, we will see deterioration quicker than the 15 years.”

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