NIA CHARLESTOWN NEVIS — Work is expected to commence shortly on Phase 2of theIsland Main Road Rehabilitation and Safety Improvement Project, as the Nevis Island Administration signed a multi-million-dollar project with Surrey Paving & Aggregate Company Caribbean Ltd. on October 14, 2022, at the NIA’s conference room in Charlestown.
The contract covers 1.5 km of road from Cliffdwellers Estate to the Nisbet’s Bridge, and 0.9 km of road from Shaws Road to Nisbet Plantation.
Hon. Spencer Brand, Minister of Communication and Works, in his remarks at the contract signing ceremony explained the reason for the project’s delay and the cost.
“The general public would recall that in 2019, we completed the first phase of this enhancement project but at the beginning of 2020 we were struck by the COVID pandemic and this project had to be delayed
“This project initially started at a cost of over $13million for that phase of the work and I’m happy to report that we are settling at a figure of just about $11.7million for this phase of the work. This is not just a road construction project. This is a safety project for the island of Nevis. In this area, we know that we had some safety issues and some safety challenges along this corridor and our main focus was to ensure that once this project is completed then the safety component would definitely be greatly enhanced,” he said, adding “I believe that when this project is completed the people of Nevis would certainly be satisfied with the end product because if we would go by what we have seen from Cotton Ground to Cliffdwellers, we expect a similar quality and an even much more improved quality.
The Communications and Works Minister used the opportunity to thank The Bank of Nevis Limited for affording the NIA the opportunity to fund the project
“I also want to take this opportunity to thank The Bank of Nevis for being a steadfast partner with the island of Nevis and the Ministry of Communications by funding this project to the tune of some $11million. I believe that that is a vote of confidence in the Nevis Island Administration to loan the people of Nevis and to loan the Nevis Island Administration $11million to have this project executed,” he said.
Mr. Brand also addressed motorists who will be utilizing the area once work on the project commences.
“I want to use the opportunity also to appeal to our motorists who will be using this corridor during the construction. Please, please, please, follow the guidance and the direction of the persons who are on the ground during the construction phase. We do not want to have any undue incidents during this construction and your cooperation and participation will be critical in ensuring that that becomes a reality,” he said.
Ms. Xia-Xiang Claxton, Quality Engineer for Surrey Paving & Aggregate Company Caribbean Ltd., gave an overview of the project.
“Similarly, to Phase 1, Phase 2 will include major works such as drainage infrastructure improvement, demolition of the existing asphalt pavement, excavation works, realign works, replacing the sub-base and the base layers with new material so as to strengthen the foundation of the pavement, as well as to reshape the geometric profile of the carriageway, and then we will be paving a new asphalt surface. We’ll also be installing new street furniture such as cat eye reflectors, crash barriers where they are necessary as well as new road markings.
“For the first two months of the project that will take us into December, we will be focusing on the first kilometre of the project, so that’s chainage 2500 to chainage 3500 that is Cliffdwellers Estate to just before the entrance to the Oualie Water Taxi Pier. Within that work zone we’ll be concentrating on the drainage infrastructure, so construction of any drainage infrastructure that we have to implement on new curbs and slipper drains, u-drains, v-drains anything that is necessary and we’ll also be working on the repaving of the carriageway. We’ll also be executing excavation works at Hurricane Hill and this is essentially to improve the safety, the line of sight of that area,” she said.
Meantime, Mr. Michael Morrison, Project Manager for Surrey Paving & Aggregate Company Caribbean Ltd. said they are seeking to produce a climate-resistant road and are aiming to have one section drivable by Christmas.
“We will focus most of our activities within the section between Cliffdwellers and Oualie Beach. We want to complete that section to have it drivable for Christmas.
“One thing of note is that the new box drains going across the carriage way, we won’t be doing those on this side of the year for safety reasons. We don’t want to leave them hanging out there and persons crashing into them because the geometric profile of the road will change significantly, and also the elevation.
“We want to produce a climate-resistant road so the elevations would be way above what exists now so all these new drains will stick out like a sore thumb out of the road. So we won’t do those works until next year,” he said.
The ceremony was chaired by Dr. Ernie Stapleton, Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Communication and Works.
Others present were Mr. Colin Dore, Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Finance; Mr. Denzil Stanley, Principal Assistant Secretary in the Ministry of Communications and Works; Mr. De-Jono Liburd, Legal Counsel at the Legal Department; and Mr. Jevon Williams, Director of the Public Works Department.