Airport Gateway Project To Improve Road Network
Nassau, The Bahamas – In addition to improving the road network and enhancing landscaping, the new John F. Kennedy Drive Airport Gateway is expected to improve the capacity of the entrance to the airport where the existing roadway is limited in traffic capacity, Public Works and Transport Minister the Hon. Neko C Grant said.
He noted other justifications for effecting improvements to the route including, “the need to provide safer driving conditions where the alignment of certain portions of the highway is irregular and excessive speeding and overtaking occur along straight sections of the road.”
Minister Grant presented the keynote address during the official ground breaking ceremony for the Airport Gateway on March 3 at the project site on J. F. Kennedy Drive.
Also participating in the ceremony was Senator the Hon. Vincent Vanderpool-Wallace, Minister of Tourism and Aviation and Colin Higgs, Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Public Works and Transport, Hu Dingxian, Ambassador of the People’s Republic of China and Ning Yuan, Chairman and President of China Construction America Inc.
Among those in attendance was Prime Minister the Hon. Hubert A Ingraham; members of Parliament; Anita Bernard, Secretary to the Cabinet, and a delegation from the People’s Republic of China.
Entertainment was provided by the Royal Bahamas Police Force Pop Band. The Bahamas Government signed a loan agreement with China Export Import Bank and China State Construction Engineering Corporation Ltd, to facilitate the launch of the project in September 2010.
The project includes construction of a four-lane dual carriageway along JFK Drive, construction of nine new roundabouts, installation of a 24″ water main, installation of electrical services, landscaping and completion of drainage, signage, street lighting and road markings.
Mr. Grant said the project is expected to create employment opportunities for some 130 Bahamians in earth works and road surfacing.
“It is also expected that the beautification of the highway will provide motorists with a “sense of place” through the design of landscaping and sculptures, and that these aspects of the project will also include Bahamian participation,” said Mr. Grant.
“These works along JFK Drive will not only facilitate the creation of more positive visual impact along the entrance road system to the country’s main airport that welcomes millions of tourists every year, but will enhance traffic management as it relates to road safety,” he added. The project is expected to be completed by October 2012.
By Kathryn Campbell
Bahamas Information Services