Works on two major road projects on Nevis are nearing completion and according to Junior Minister Hon Carlisle Powell, work has progressed satisfactorily.

During a recent interview Mr. Powell, who is responsible for Public Works, Public Utilities, Posts, Physical Planning, Food and Water Control and the Environment, gave high marks to works on the $15million Barnes Ghaut/Cotton Ground Road and the $25million Island Main Road Phase III. He said were both on schedule for completion by December 2007.

“The actual work in terms of the Jessups section [of road] should be finished by close to the end of the year. As a matter of fact, the project itself should be completed by the end of the year. This includes work on the road which will branch down into Cotton Ground and connect to the Island Main Road”.

“I am still very, very impressed and we still continue to get some very favourable comments about the quality of the third phase of the Island Main Road both in terms of the width of the road, the fact that it is so much straighter and the fact that almost all of the culverts were completely changed, redone and redesigned so that the road will be considerably improved over what was. We should see that project completed by December 2007 as well,” he said.

The minister explained that the administration was in negotiations with a private land owner for the purchase of a parcel of land to the right of the gas station at the entrance of Jessups Village. The additional land would be used to widen and enhance the entrance of the village road which services home owners and a number of villas.

Contractors for the Barnes Ghaut/Cotton Ground Project are Karafi and Sons, a firm which had undertaken a number of successful projects on the island in the past which included the Long Point Port and road, the Charlestown Pier, the airport parking lot and the bypass road in Hamilton.

With regard to the Island Main Road Phase III which began in November 2006, Mr. Powell explained that work had commenced on a new technology to Nevis. Retainers called gabion baskets were being constructed and placed in Business Ghaut. The wire mesh baskets which are filled with stones would also allow for water runoffs. Contractors for that project are Surrey Paving & Aggregate Caribbean Ltd.

Meanwhile, he also noted that a significant amount of cutting work had been done at the Fountain Ghaut area to get the levels right and that inclement weather had not deterred the amount of preparatory work done ahead of asphalting.

Notwithstanding, Mr. Powell said the Nevis Water Department had taken advantage of the opportunities provided by the road projects throughout the island and had replaced several of its major water mains which led to pump sites in the areas.