Work on Friars Hill Road and the Sir George Walter Highway will resume on 6th January, 2020.
Both major highways are scheduled to be completed by September of 2020.
Public Relations Officer of the Project Implementation Management Unit (PIMU) in the department of Works, Shawn Thomas, indicated that, to date, “Friars Hill Road is 50 percent complete and on the Sir George Walter highway we’re estimating just about a 30 percent completion.”
The PRO said that no work took place during the busy holiday season as a part of a, “strategic move by the office to allow commuters and patrons to patronise businesses during the Christmas season and not to create any further interruption for persons using the banks and other businesses on Friars Hill Road.”
Thomas said, however, that upon the resumption of work, the contractor may find increased challenges on Friars hill road especially, as a number of businesses and homes are in that area.
“The contractor [Bahama Hot Mix] is very much aware that special consideration must be given to businesses along Friars Hill Road within the business district, particularly to the Billy’s Supermarket and the businesses on that compound,” said Thomas.
The chief concern, Thomas said, is access: “Access will always be maintained for persons who operate businesses and persons wishing to patronise business along Friars Hill Road.”
The PIMU also plans to make accommodations to business and residential owners for work to be done at night so as not to not over-inconvenience the roadway users whom must frequent the area.
Special consideration will also be given to business and residential owners to have access on the Sir George Walter Highway as a diversion will be provided for road users at the Coolidge junction in January.
The Unit is also addressing looming health hazards arising from the ongoing reconstruction of the road networks.
“I know there was a challenge on the weekend with the amount of dust in the air. We are continuing to wet [the roads] three times a day, particularly in the morning, midday and in the evening,” said Thomas.
The road rehabilitation project will include the addition of three new roundabouts at the following junctures: Dickenson Bay and Friars Hill Road; Government House and Friars Hill Road; and at the Dee’s Service Station on the Sir George Walter Highway.
Addressing the issue of historic poor driver behaviour at the nation’s existing roundabouts, the PRO said, “we know that [changes to] driver behavior will take some time before the changes are fully seen and observed… but it’s just a matter of adjusting to this new way of driving in Antigua and Barbuda.”