Categorized | National News

Roads Open For School Monday -Davis: If We Met A Mess, We Have To Fix It

By K Quincy Parker

Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Public Works Philip Davis said yesterday that some will roads will be opened for school traffic on Monday, and while he would not say the Free National Movement (FNM) “made a mess” of the New Providence Road Improvement Project (NPRIP), he said his government has handled the project differently, and perhaps better.

“We have inherited this; there’s only one government,” he said. “I am just a new administration, and what we meet, we meet. If we met a mess, we have to fix it.”

While he would not take personal ownership of the NPRIP, Mr. Davis told the Journal that had he gone along with the plans he had met in place, the roads would not have opened until October 31.

He said the road reopening clearly shows the difference in how the project is being managed.

“As a matter of fact, I’m happy to report that there have been some savings, given the manner in which the work is being executed in the last month,” he said.

Ministry of Public Works’ Project Coordinator for the NPRIP, Khader Alikhan concurred.

“It is difficult to quantify the savings at this point in time, but as DPM says, a lot of effort has been made to minimise the cost of the project,” he said. “Only during the final accounting time will we come to know what the savings have been.”

Mr. Davis noted that the NPRIP has been in the pipeline from the early 2000s. He said he regrets that it is taking this long to complete.

“Once completed and the roads are handed over to us, my administration intends to have a total review of the roadworks and see how it can be better enhanced for the benefit of businesses and the travelling public.”

Mr. Davis declined to say whether his government still intends to conduct a commission of inquiry into the roadworks. He did talk about the importance of stakeholder involvement, however.

“Before now, the involvement of stakeholders in the execution of infrastructural work of this magnitude was absent. I have brought onboard the police and I think they are better able because they are more in tune with the use of the road, the nuances of road users and what will impact upon the traffic flow,” he said.

“They have been on board with me for the last two months, helping me in shaping how these works ought to be executed, with the minimum disruption to businesses and the travelling public.”

Mr. Davis explained that the roadworks were fairly close to completion and gave the following timeline.

“Total handover of the roads to the Bahamas Government will take place no later than January 31. That is my expectation,” he said.

“The work will be substantially completed by October 31, as the contract requires. What will be happening between then and the 31st of January will be what I call remedial work that is required for the proper takeover by the government.”
Roads Open For School

Standing at the corner of Robinson and Soldier Roads, Mr. Davis announced that, barring unforeseen circumstances, all the roads within the NPRIP will be opened for school traffic on Monday, September 3, including that intersection.

“It will be available for free flow of traffic for the opening of the school year, which was a commitment I made,” he said, adding that he was happy that his ministry’s personnel “worked assiduously” to have the roads open for school traffic.

He warned that Bernard Road is scheduled to be paved on Saturday.

He also noted that the opening of the roads for school traffic will not mean that the works are finished, particularly the outstanding works at the crossing of the Village Road roundabout.

“As this project nears its end, I wish to express my gratitude to the public for putting up with the necessary disruption to their lives and their motor vehicle movement,” Mr. Davis said.

“The government is mindful that, going forward, greater care must be taken to involve the community in the planning stages of major works like this and to ensure that every effort is made to lessen negative impact on the daily lives of citizens.”

Written by Jones Bahamas

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