Minister for Public Works and Ports, Miriam Blanchard has assured Dominicans that the construction of the new West Bridge in Roseau will provide employment for locals.
She made these remarks in light of public criticism of the hiring of Barbadian -based company, NSG Management & Technical Services Ltd., for the project.
“It is expected that significant employment will be generated by this project, as the contractor has assured us that local skills and talents will be used as much as possible,” Blanchard said at the ground-breaking ceremony for the 18 million-dollar project on Friday. “Ladies and gentlemen, there is no doubt that this project will stimulate economic activity, create jobs and ultimately, lead to an improvement in the citizens of this country.”
She also revealed that the Ministry of Public Works has assumed some smaller-scale, rehabilitation projects, valued at EC$7-million.
Contracts will be signed soon, the minister said.
“…in the last month, thirty small and medium-sized projects were tendered, totalling in EC$7-million. And, we expect to continue the signing of contracts to execute these works, as early as next week,” Blanchard stated. “In general, these works, at the community level, will focus on the construction of retaining walls, river dredging, and pavement of roads.”
The Minister announced that the government will again partner with the People’s Republic of China for further infrastructural work.
“Moreover, in the next few days, we will sign an implementation contract for the construction of the York Valley Bridge. This project will be grant-financed through the generosity of the government’s strongest ally, the government of the People’s Republic of China,” she divulged. “Once that contract has been signed, works will follow in approximately four months.”
The West Coast Rehabilitation Project is also to be financed by grant-funding from the Chinese government.
Another major project expected to commence soon, will focus on road restoration and river defences, west of the Hillsborough Bridge. The tender process is ongoing.
According to Ian Fields of NSG Management & Technical Services Ltd., the project will commence on May 2, 2016 and will be completed by April 2017.
Apart from the demolition and reconstruction of the West Bridge, other works include the replacement of the river retaining wall, and dredging work (removal of river deposits).