By Carl Joseph
The promised start to the rehabilitation of the dilapidated, incomplete Sunshine Hub Car Park on Independence Avenue is now scheduled to begin in about seven days.
“We expect within a week that we would begin to see workers at that particular location,” announced Cabinet spokesman, Minister Melford Nicholas yesterday.
Nicholas explained that when work does begin, the property will be cordoned off, the areas overgrown with foliage cleared and debris removed while the engineers conduct their evaluation on the existing structure before the next planned phase where construction would then commence.
The government, after buying the property in March 2017, had previously announced that work would have begun on the car park after the Carnival season last year.
The property is now under the control of National Asset Management Company (NAMCO) and the timeline on the rehabilitation, set to cost US $7.5 million, had since been readjusted to January 6th, 2020.
Nicholas said delays are because of yet to be acquired liability insurance by the contractor.
“Lest there be any unexpected circumstances, all due protocols and precautions must be taken with respect to the insurance,” the Cabinet spokesman outlined.
“On Wednesday, we were confronted with that particular challenge involving the contractor having sufficient insurance to get workers to go into that particular facility.”
Nicholas assured, however, that the insurance issues should be finalised by today and that the contractor would get a resolution allowing for work to begin during the course of next week.
The Sunshine Hub is said to be able to accommodate 250 vehicles along with additional administration and office spaces.
Along with the car park’s rehabilitation, the government will phase the implementation of a metered parking system in St John’s as a Cabinet release stated that, “on-street restricted parking will also be initiated in order to make businesses in St John’s function more easily.”
Addressing the issue of traffic congestion within the city, Nicholas said, “we’re going to have to change behaviours… We will have to look at different patterns of how this problem can be [addressed]… We want to ensure that there is paid parking for those persons who temporarily would have to be in St John’s for one reason or another.”