Gov’t officials explain delays in road works

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The manager for the unit that is currently overseeing the major road rehabilitation project on the Friars Hill Road and the Sir George Walter Highway, is admitting that there are delays in the actual construction phase, but he is assuring the public that the job will be completed in a timely manner.
Dennis Cudjoe, Project Coordinator for the Project Implementation Management Unit (PIMU) says that at this point, most of the work is being carried out by technicians attached to the Antigua Public Utilities Authority (APUA).
“APUA technicians are laying pipes, expanding the water system, burying electrical cables as well as doing telecoms work and other utility services,” Cudjoe elaborated as he explained that the itemised portions or work have to be completed before the actual road construction can begin.
This, he said, is also coupled with other challenges such as the weather and public access to the two major roads while active construction is taking place, bearing in mind that a number of business places are located on both roads.
Despite the challenges, he said: “We are now winding down with respect to the work associated with APUA. That work is about 96 percent complete on Friars Hill Road and about 95 percent on the Sir George Walter Highway. So, going forward, the contractor will start making preparations to commence the actual road pavement works – the base, sub base and asphalt work.
“The plan is that the Friars Hill Road will advance first, the first section from Cedar Grove to West Indies Oil Company Limited and then the contractor will move over to the Sir George Walter Highway, commencing from the airport all the way to the Dees Service Station, as the first section,” Cudjoe said.
The information was disseminated in a video that was released to the media by the Ministry of Public Works.
Residents have complained bitterly about the pace of the road rehabilitation, particularly given the current state of Friars Hill Road. There are also reports about damaged vehicles and vehicles falling into manhole or potholes.
Speaking specifically to this concern, the project coordinator promised that as soon as the weather holds up there will be some improvement to ease the burden on motorists.
The road programme was made possible through a grant funding of US $20 million from the British Government.

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