Bridges Repairs Set For South Andros
Andros, The Bahamas – As the government executed a $1,753.026.86 contract to rehabilitate the bridges in Deep and Little Creek, South Andros, Administrator Brenda Colebrooke-Munroe expressed the fears of residents who daily make the dangerous trek across the bridges to and from school and work. She thanked the government for hearing the cries of residents and meeting their needs.
Public Works and Transport Minister the Hon. Neko C. Grant awarded the contract to Bahamas Marine Construction Co. Ltd. during a ceremony Wednesday at the Marion E. Forbes Youth Centre.
Among those in attendance were Minister of State for Local Government the Hon. Byron Woodside; Permanent Secretary Colin Higgs; Director John Canton; Project Engineer Dion Munroe and area Engineer Garnett Campbell. Local Government representatives including Chief Councilor Rev. James Pratt and members of the community also witnessed the event.
Minister Grant said among others the scope of works includes demolition and disposal of existing steel structures, supply and installation of new concrete piles, deck beams, new bridge barriers, installation of traffic signage and asphalt paving of the bridge surface.
He said the contractor is required to provide a public ferry service during construction periods that would necessitate closing of the bridges to vehicles.
Minister Woodside recalled Prime Minister Hubert Ingraham’s remarks made in the 2010/2011 Budget Debate, particularly regarding capital expenditure for Family Islands.
In addition to repairs to bridges in South Andros, Mr. Woodside said the Prime Minister highlighted infrastructure projects including the $12 million Downtown Strawmarket, the multi-million dollar administrative buildings in Grand Bahama and Abaco, gymnasiums in Abaco and Eleuthera, classrooms in various Family Islands and extensive roadworks in New Providence and the Family Islands.
“This hit home for all of us especially Local Government given the fact that for some three years now we have been labouring without capital budget,” said Mr. Woodside.
“The fact is that Local Government did not get the money, but the money has been placed in Central Government for these large and important projects that will no doubt affect the lives of persons in our Family Islands.”
He encouraged Local Government representatives to remind residents that there may not have been money in Local Government, but central Government has “delivered” on its promise.
Mr. Grant explained that a loan agreement for $10.1 million was signed between the Bahamas Government and the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB) that made provisions to reconstruct Three Island Dock in North Eleuthera, Fresh Creek Dock in Central Andros and the bridges in South Andros.
He extended gratitude to the CDB and employees of the Ministries of Finance and Lands and Local Government for their contributions to the project. He also thanked Mr. Munroe and the technical team at the Ministry of Works for bringing the project to its present stage.
“We are aware that Bahamas Marine Construction has garnered a solid reputation over the years in the completion of coastal and marine infrastructure projects,” said Mr. Grant.
“We therefore expect that the proposed works will be executed at a very high standard and within the allotted time frame.”
The project’s construction period is nine months.
By Kathryn Campbell
Bahamas Information Services