Plans underway to make Old Road Bay more resilient to environmental hazards
BASSETERRE, St. Kitts – Plans are in ttrack for building resilience in the infrastructure at Old Road Bay to guard against the adverse impacts of natural hazards, says Minister of Public Infrastructure the Honourable Ian Liburd.
Speaking at the St. Kitts and Nevis prime minister’s press conference May 30, Minister Liburd said that the idea of the plans going forward is to reduce or eliminate the detrimental effects of hurricanes in that area. He said that such effects include falling rocks that can be life threatening and damaging to motorists and pedestrians and block the main road, causing traffic delays.
At present, the designs are around 95 percent complete, said the minister. Pending is the barometric study that deals with water depths and weather. “This is important because they are looking at it from two fronts, namely, to mitigate the rock fall or slippage from the shore end or the mountain end,” he said.
Minister Liburd said that the intention is to move the road seaward. “[This] will involve dredging and reclamation of land seaward,” said the minister. “This is to address the sea level rises because if you drive across the road, it would appear as if the road is sinking, but, in fact, the sea levels are rising each year and that is coming out of climate change.”
Work at Old Road Bay is expected to start in the next few months, and it will be completed during an 18-month period, said the minister. “[This] means it won’t be ready for this season,” he said. “So, we hope and pray what happened last year [will] not be repeated. However, after next year, we will see the great work that has been done.”
Minister Liburd said that Prime Minister the Honourable Dr. Timothy Harris, who is also the minister of finance, has already committed funds to the project in the 2018 budget.