Work on road projects, Barbuda airport expected to resume

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The Minister of Information, Melford Nicholas, has promised that there should be no further delays to three major construction projects that have been underway for some time in Antigua and Barbuda.
He was referring specifically to the Friars Hill Road and Sir George Walter Highway rehabilitation works and the Barbuda Runway construction.
“We expect to be in a position to see completion of those two [projects] within the course of the year,” Nicholas said at a recent post-Cabinet press briefing.
“Both the airport in Barbuda and the two road works here, in addition to any other subsidiary road work development that is being undertaken by Public Works, has really put a great demand on the output from both of the quarries. Based on the buoyancy that is taking place in the construction sector right now, one of the things that the entire country is faced with are frequent shortages [of] cement products.”
He added that despite the government’s desire to import the desired products in larger quantities, the docking facilities in Antigua cannot accommodate any larger ships. However, Nicholas said, they have overcome these recent obstacles and the output of material is now flowing from the quarries.
According to the Cabinet notes, the delay of the Barbuda Runway, on the other hand, has also been occasioned by “the temporary injunction by members of the Barbuda People’s Movement which inflicted a heavy cost, as machines and men remained idle for more than one month. The work slowed down significantly as machines were deliberately damaged and workers moved to other jobs during the injunction shutdown”.
However, as the notes indicated, the Barbuda Runway is likely to be completed before the end of 2019 and the Friars Hill Road and Sir George Walter Highway rehabilitation projects could be completed in a few months.
This is no new information as the country had already been anticipating a 2019 end date. The construction projects have met many challenges since their beginnings in early 2018. Dennis Cudjoe, coordinator for the Project Implementation Management Unit (PIMU), last said that most of the initial work was being carried out by technicians attached to the Antigua Public Utilities Authority (APUA) coupled with other challenges such as the weather and public access to the two major roads
Recently, the repairs to the two major roadways have been dependent on delivery of the required aggregates to the corresponding sites. In order to ensure the progress of these repairs, Minister of Works Lennox Weston promised Bahamas Hot Mix (BHM) – the construction and engineering company responsible for the projects – that it will be given priority in the delivery of certain sizes of aggregates which will be supplied by the Bendals and Burma quarries.
In order to produce all the crushed stones that would be required for the road project, new crushers were installed at both quarries.

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