By Robert A. Emmanuel
Amid heavy criticism from the public and the Minister of Works over the lack of progress on the Friars Hill Road and the Sir George Walter Highway, the contracting company, Bahamas Hot Mix (BHM), sought to allay some of those concerns with a tour of the Friars Hill Road yesterday.
BHM representative Sean Geiser spoke to reporters about the status of Phase One of the road work, which starts at the junction of Friars Hill Road and the Cedar Grove Main Road to the Police Training Grounds.
Geiser said that from last week, Friday, the section of the road—which was raised by two feet—was completed and primed with a sealing commonly used in road construction where lightly bound base material is present.
“The base levels have all been installed, the base materials have been tested, the tests have passed specification we then dipped the surface to make sure the surface is within tolerance; and now, what we have been doing is priming,” he said.
Geiser said he expected paving of the road to begin by the end of the week, and road construction on the section beginning from the West Indies Oil Company complex is expected to begin in August.
“This operation will just keep crawling all the way down, caterpillar-like, to West Indies Oil and … the anticipation right now, knowing that we are getting into the hurricane season, is that we will be [between West Indies Oil and Epicurean] within the month of August. We would like [to be] out of this Phase One between the Cedar Grove Main Road and West Indies Oil Pond within the month of July,” Geiser said.
Shawn Thomas, Communications Officer within the Ministry of Works, said the government is pleased with work done so far.
“The government of Antigua and Barbuda, through the Project Implementation Management Unit, is pleased to see that priming has officially started,” he said.
Thomas said that while no new road closures were expected for the next few weeks, the main diversion for drivers continues to be Marble Hill Road.