(Press Unit in the Office of the Prime Minister) – The Team Unity Government of St. Kitts and Nevis is fast-tracking plans that will once and for all address the hazardous conditions that have for years plagued the island main road along the Old Road Bay.
This follows the devastation that took place at Old Road Bay during the passage of Hurricane Maria this week, resulting in the closure of that road to vehicular and pedestrian traffic on Wednesday, September 20, and Thursday, September 21.
Minister of Public Infrastructure, the Honourable Ian Patches Liburd, said the Government holds in high regards the safety of its citizens, residents and visitors alike, and as such has prioritized the Old Road Bay road.
“We are actually just about completing our preliminary design stage in terms of the rehabilitation work we will do across the bay and once and for all have a road that is safe. Safety is the key because we can’t continue – especially in these times with the sort of weather coming out of climate change – the rock falls, the slippage of the soil and so on. We as an administration are going to take the bold step and really repair this road and have it as a safe road and people will be protected along this road,” Minister Liburd said, while commending the tireless efforts of the employees of the Public Works Department in ensuring the road was made accessible to vehicular traffic within a short period of time.
Minister Liburd was at the time conducting a site visit of Old Road Bay, alongside Prime Minister, Dr. the Honourable Timothy Harris, and Parliamentary Representative for Constituency #4, the Honourable Lindsay Grant on Thursday, September 21.
Also on hand was Mr. Martell Lee, Managing Director of ADeB Consultants Limited, the company contracted to design an alternative that will address current and future damages to the Old Road Bay road.
Speaking with the Press unit in the Office of the Prime Minister, Mr. Lee said the intention is to design a road that will raise the elevation, which will effectively address the issue of rising sea levels and the impact of strong waves.
“We are looking at elevating the road and benching because you have issues from both sides,” Mr. Lee stated. “You have the sea and the high tides with different environments and then you have the slippages that occur from the mountainside, so you have to mitigate against both issues and the design has to take that into consideration and that’s where we are now.”
The consultants will also take into consideration the impact of natural disasters and longevity in designing the new road.
“You will never be able to predict but what you can do is predetermine what will happen and design against that happening and you could do projections based on future time differences in terms of five years, 10 years, 25 years, 50 years or 100 year conditions and these are projections that you can use. We can nullify the threat from the land side and we can make a projection as to what we would mitigate against from the seaside. The prediction from the seaside is far greater in terms of the difficulty but based on historic values that we have available to us, we can make predictions which are fairly accurate and will mitigate against the threat from that side,” Mr. Lee explained.
ADeB Consultants Limited was the consulting firm that helped design the roads that were recently resurfaced at the Southeast Peninsular and the new tunnel at Timothy Hill.