Island main road along Old Road Bay opens 6 a.m. Friday
Press Unit in the office of the Prime Minister
BASSETERRE, St. Kitts – As a result of “the expeditious and tireless work carried out by the employees of the Public Works Department and several private contractors,” the island main road along the Old Road Bay will reopen to vehicular and pedestrian traffic as early as 6 a.m. Friday.
That assurance was given by Civil Engineer Kevin Williams to Prime Minister the Honourable Dr. Timothy Harris, Minister of Public Infrastructure the Hon. Ian Patches Liburd and parliamentary representative for the area, the Hon. Lindsay Grant, during a guided tour of the work being carried out along that stretch of road.
Giving an update of the work, Williams, who specializes in coastal zones, said the road will be reinforced with a revetment, which involves the placement of boulders to provide protection from strong waves.
“There were some vulnerable areas where the wave action was very high and it eroded the area.,” he said. “So we did some revetment and some compaction there to reinforce the coastal area, and so from tomorrow when [the road] dries out, we will do the paving with asphalt on the entire damaged area,” adding that work should be fully completed on the road by this coming weekend, barring any inclement weather. He said the necessary road signs will be posted along the stretch of road for the safety of the driving public.
Prime Minister Harris, as well as his cabinet colleagues, seemed delighted by the quick response of the Public Works Department to be able to bring relief to affected residents within a 48 hour window.
“I am very pleased and satisfied that the mobilization of efforts, in a coordinated way, has resulted in the success achieved at this particular road ,” he said. “And I know the special delight, comfort and convenience that this will bring to the people on the western end of the country. It has been a difficult period for them coming out of the hurricane and having to traverse very lengthy portions of the country to get to and fro Basseterre.”
Harris continued, “This is near a miracle that has happened that within 48 hours, through the hard work of the Public Works Department, which deserves every commendation, we could correct what had been a major damage to a critical part of our road infrastructure. I want to loudly proclaim the public’s confidence and the government’s confidence in the capacity and the ability of the people at Public Works to deal with the issues that now confront us and I want to specially mention and thank Kevin Williams, who is our own expert on this matter.”
The stretch of road along the Old Road Bay was deemed impassable by the relevant authorities after it was significantly eroded and damaged by the strong waves that pounded the coastlines of St. Kitts and Nevis during the passing of Category 5 Hurricane Maria Sept. 18-19. There was also the threat of falling debris and rocks from the mountainside of the road.