Categorized | National News

Airport Gateway Project 99 % Complete

The multi-million dollar Airport Gateway Project is 99 per cent complete with officials putting the finishing touches to landscaping, according to Works and Urban Development Minister Philip ‘Brave’ Davis.

Construction of the project began in May 2011 with a scheduled completion of August 2013.

But the project saw some challenges with one disgruntled worker sabotaging the project earlier this year – causing the government over $1 million in repairs.

“It is now substantially complete with no further delay anticipated except for unforeseen circumstances such as adverse weather conditions which occurrence would not be strange, particularly since we are still in the hurricane season. Our engineers describe the work as 99 per cent complete. Some landscaping and other minor works remain to be completed,” Minister Davis said in the House of Assembly.

“Least I seem to be speaking out of two sides of my mouth, there are certainly concerns which are related to the Airport Gateway Project but I wanted to assure the public that, in this case, it appears that the project went as planned and within the cost projected. There are those, not without some justification, who would complain about the overall layout and the $11.5 million cost per mile.”

The minister said there are some people who questioned why the government did not make use of the southern shore of Lake Cunningham for pedestrians and cycle pathways.

“They believe that this could have been accomplished by placing the underground utilities where the north side of the roadway is now and designing a narrow median way between the traffic lanes, at least in this section if not all along the entire way to the airport,” Minister Davis said.

“We are now looking at what might be done along the lakeshore but any improvement project will incur additional expense. Again, to have attempted to make changes, when we took responsibility in May 2012, would have represented irresponsibility on our part costing far more that we considered acceptable and, so we did not seek to delay the project.”

Meanwhile, Minister Davis also gave an update on the New Providence Road Improvement Project (NPRIP).
He said contractor Jose Cartollone handed over the roads to the government in February.

Since then, the government has managed all other repairs of the roads.
While in Opposition, the Progressive Liberal Party has harped over the NPRIP, which it said cost Bahamians $100 million in cost overruns.

“So to compare the two projects would have to include a considerable amount of intricate calculations to determine if comparable value for money was received. The ministry will, of course, complete this assessment so as to assure the public as to how their tax dollars would have been spent, whether efficiently or no,” Minister Davis said.

The Airport Gateway Project was budgeted for over $71.6 million.

The expenditure to date has been just over $69.4 million which leaves over $2.1million remaining in the budget.

Written by Jones Bahamas

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