AFTER ULTIMATUM… work intensifies on Airport Road project

Blackmoore.

Minister for Public Works, Energy and Ports Rayburn Blackmoore has said that there has been a level of diligence and intensification of works on the Lot One portion of the Airport Road Project after intense pressure was placed on the contractors recently.

Speaking at a press conference at the Government Information Service this morning, the minister said that government was not satisfied with the level of work being done on that project, hence he has given the contractor notice to get off the project if changes were not seen.

Since then, Blackmoore reported that that there has been a turnaround.

“Initially when this project was designed, we were looking at a budget of over $29 million and at a completion date of October 2009… To a certain extent, that this project was under-designed, we had to undertake some additional excavation work. And there was a time extension given to March 2010,” he stated.

“We’re not satisfied with the pace at which the contractor is working on the project.  And up till last month we had to take steps to protect the interest of the Dominican people and that of the government and to put the contractor on notice, paving the way for his removal on the site. The ministry and the government was very much serious about that,”he said.

He added, “Having done that we have seen a total turn around in the level of diligence at which the contractor is executing his function on this road and the expectation therefore that this project cannot, should not be allowed to go beyond 2010.”

Blackmoore said that the contractor has almost tripled his efforts adding, “We should have the actual paving of the road completed in the Antrim  area where we have to do some further analysis in terms of embarking a proper method of intervention.”

The minister noted the issue of road safety.

“… the contractor has been instructed to start with the installation of the guard rails. A significant portion of that road has to be protected and we’re talking about almost three kilometers of guard rails… on the critical areas…” he stated

Blackmoore also gave an update on Lot Two of the said road project. He said that steps are being taken to update contracts so that the Lot One situation does not reoccur.

“We cannot and will not tolerate a repeat,” he said.

Lot One is expected to be completed in January while Lot two is set for 2012.

He said 108 persons are employed under these two projects.

Lot One is being financed by the Government of Dominica at a cost of $29.4 million. It is expected to be completed within weeks, while Lot 2 is funded by the Government of the Republic of France through the Agence Francaise de Developpement at the cost of $52 million.

Emile Gaddarkan et Fils is the contractor.

The minister also gave updates on other road projects around the island. These will be given in subsequent publications.

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23 Comments

  1. FED UP DOMINICAN
    November 20, 2010

    While I understand that due to Dominicas’ structure it would take long to construct any road,
    I still have to ask that once started why does it take so long. Why is there not enough planning and thought put into such ventures. Why are the contractors not monitored more closely.

    I agree that the new road should be 2 lane traffic in both directions. Properly marked and adequate road signs put up.

    At a cost of 81.4million lets hope that once finished it will look impressive. Also lets hope that it is maintained (unlike other roads in Dominica).

    One last thing: Lets hope that no one leaves their wrecked vehicles there.

  2. Devoted Dominican.
    November 20, 2010

    THEY ARE BEHIND SCHEDULE BECAUSE BOTH THE CONTRACTOR AND THE WORKERS ARE MILKING THE PROJECT FOR AS LONG AS THEY CAN. WHY CAN’T THEY WORK LIKE THE CHINESE DO? INSTEAD, THEY COME TO WORK AT EIGHT IN THE MORNING, BREAK AT NINE FOR BREAKFAST FOR AN HOUR, THEN TWO HOURS LATER BREAK FOR LUNCH. THEN START AT ONE AND QUIT AT THREE. THERE THEY HAVE ONLY WORKED FOR FIVE HOURS BUT WILL GET PAID FOR EIGHT HOURS. THE CONTRACTOR HAS TO GO. BRING IN MORE CHINESE AND GET A FULL DAY’S WORK FOR YOUR MONEY. ONLY THEN WILL ALL PROJECTS BE COMPLETED ON TIME.

  3. Karkabeff
    November 20, 2010

    @IDI AMIN: Great thinking. The money would be better spent to clean up Roseau.

  4. yep
    November 20, 2010

    @yep: oops agian employees not employers

  5. idi amin
    November 20, 2010

    if it takes 29 million to build this stretch of road, would i be a fool to think that a state house would only cost 2 million less well we have been truly bamboozeled

  6. Jah
    November 20, 2010

    @moi: You thinks it is easy to ave apiece of road on Dominica with all em boulders and obstruction? It takes time for perfection, it dosent com overnight.

  7. Jah
    November 20, 2010

    @jah bless:Would you pay more taxes to maintain and pay for the Internatioal Airport? Nigght Landing is more affordable.

  8. plant the herbs
    November 20, 2010

    @My tax money: well said brother/sister, There are those of us who see what is going on quite clearly and you are one of them! The time will come will alot more will have to be done, I hope you will take to the streets instead of the keyboard. See you there!

  9. Storm
    November 20, 2010

    As usual, nonsense. The project is overdue and only now you are putting pressure on the contractors? Poor Dominica!

  10. Fooling who?
    November 20, 2010

    BlackMore how do you and your Govt. took steps to protect the interest of the Dominican people when because of poor or very little planning, the people are going to be paying much more for the UNDER-DESIGNED, MUCH DELAYED Road project. You even scared to tell us what the inflated budget will amount to.

    Which Minister of Public Works or which Govt. would pave the way to remove Gardakan Co. on that project site. Certainly not BlackMore or his DLP Govt. Govt. was serious about what? Gardakhan controls more POWER in Dominica than BlackMore himself. We witness the foreign Co.’s power just recently. Gardakhan was bringing in his trucks from GuadeLoupe for his Road projects. If the TIPPERS TRUCKERS did not take a stand, he would have his way. Where was BlackMore and his Govt. when that took place? Who gave Gardakhan permission to bring in those trucks? He just went ahead and decide to do that?

    Is like when he ordered equipment for the asphalt plant, brought the equipment to Dominica before even obtaining permission so to do? For Govt. that was no problem. Although Planning told all of us Dominicans Gardakhan acted illegally in the first instance, they still gave the foreign contractor permission. Gardakhan got Planning Division, the Minister of Environment, Govt, the Environmental Health Dept. to side him against an entire Layou community, when he was given license and permission to build an ASPHALT PLANT close to the Layou village against the wishes of the villagers.

    The concerns of the residents of Layou as regards their health was cast aside in favour of Gardakhan. The entire community protested, begged, pleaded with the authorities to listen to their plight concerning their health, BUT TO NO AVAIL. LAYOU PEOPLE TOO POOR. They have NO POWER and INFLUENCE. Although all Dominicans know of the health hazards and the cancer-causing pollutants from the fumes of the Plant, Govt. and the related institutions disregarded and fooled the poor Layou residents.

    On top of that, Gardakhan is still creating more environmental problems by dumping the toxic waste from that asphalt plant close to another village Salisbury. That time, Environmental Health hypocritically indicated that they would issue a ‘STOP ORDER’ for him to discontinue that dangerous practice. But wouldn’t the EIA submitted have to mention or inform Planning and Environmental Health about the proper disposal of that waste and where?

    Planning refused the local Public Works Corporation , and rightly so, to build a similar asphalt plant in the same area, close to Layou, but alas, Gardakhan was allowed to build there. So who has the influence and power, Gardakhan. Who agreed and allowed him to go ahead building the plant there? Planning Division and Govt.

    So what Kokomakak Blackmore trying on Dominicans about Govt. would pressure or remove Gardakhan from that road project? Dominicans must remember that BlackMore told us gardakhan had breached the first contract, but he and his Govt. still awarded the same contractor the other phase of the Road project. is there any guarantee that the said contractor would not breach the contract for Lot 2 project? Come on BlackMore. Do you see a CAPITAL F on our FOREHEADS?

  11. My tax money
    November 19, 2010

    Who is BlackMore trying to fool? The Minister at the Press Conference was stammering not knowing what to say as excuses and excuses were given. The Minister showed Dominicans how inefficient he and his Govt. are. Did you hear or are you reading the nonsense those Govt. Officials, especially the Minister, are talking about? He claims that Initially when this project was designed, we were looking at a budget of over $29 million and at a completion date of October 2010. He has yet to disclose what the NEW BUDGET IS? Why didn’t you tell us what is the NEW BUDGET?

    He further claimed that, to a certain extent, the project was under-designed, we had to undertake some additional excavation work. The Ministry of Public Works, PS BlackMore, Minister BlackMore, Chief Technical Officer are you all serious? Project UNDER-DESIGNED? And there was a time extension given to March 2010? In what month of the year are we Minister BlackMore? I ask again, in what month of the year are we Minister BlackMore? The year 2010 finish just now oui.

    The Minister indicated that Gardakhan had breached the contract as regards the CaneField to PondCasse Road, Lot 1 and action would be taken against the contractor. But In the same vein, Gardakhan was nevertheless awarded the contract to work on Lot 2, from PondCasee to Melville Hall Road project. Gardakhan can’t be taken to task. The foreign contractor rules. So who could BlackMore fool? He and his Govt are daily showing Dominicans how inefficient they are, especially dealing with important National Projects. He and his Ministry have failed Dominica miserably. They have failed to monitor and evaluate those Road projects in a timely manner.

    But my people do those Ministers care two hoots? It is you, the Dominican TAX PAYERS who have to demand VALUE FOR MONEY. If as a citizen you dare, you are savaged by the authorities for exercising the right to know how your money is spent. When projects are under-designed and contractors are allowed to do what they want, it is you the people who have to foot the bill. The extra dollars in that new Budget because of the Minister’s and his Ministry’s inefficiencies, who have to pay for that? You do not care, because you support the Govt.? They could do what they want? Give me a break.

    Remember. the exorbitant cost of the River Wall project under the UWI CENTRE? In comparing that project to the Fond St. Jean Sea Defense Project, which had plenty more work and done on the Atlantic side of Dominica, the River wall cost almost twice that of the Sea Defense Wall. My people, In those situations corruption and Kick backs are rampant.

    Minister BlackMore the Roseau Valley Road rehabilitation problems as well? That project also UNDER-DESIGNED? You do not know when that road will be completed as well? What is the NEW BUDGET for that Valley Road project? YOU ALL COULD FOOL SOME OF THE PEOPLE SOMETIME, BUT YOU ALL CAN’T FOOL ALL OF THE PEOPLE ALL OF THE TIME. Excuses and more excuses for inefficiencies after inefficiencies. Frankly, In that press conference, BlackMore failed to convince anybody that his Govt. is on top of what is going on. WHAT A SHAME. A BIG SHAME

  12. A George
    November 19, 2010

    DNO, thanks for the update on the pictures. Looking forward to se them.

    On another note, does anyone know if any of these roads will be multi-lane in the same direction? (ie, 4 lane highway)? It would be a travesty not to do that because in a few years with increased traffic, etc, we may need that. If that one-lane bridge can tell anything about how our officials think in terms of growth, I wouldn’t be surprised. You can tell that one-lane bridge thing is bothersome to me… First impressions count. Alot of emphasis should be put into beautifying the Marigot area, since our air travelers see that area first. Not even sure where that new Moroccan-built hotel will go – they need to hurry that up! Then again, with this road thing, surprise me!

    And I know they will bring up the issue about the cost of doing a 4-lane highway, but now is the best time to do it, since they’re already doing all this excavation. Also, a 4-lane highway would probably save lives, in the sense that idiotic drivers won’t try to overtake and speed on new two roads with hairpin curves. I hope they’ll have post speed limit signs, among the other signs, to help and tame not only local drivers, but foreigners who will now want to drive our roads. As well, maybe police patrols to catch speeders and reckless drivers.

  13. jah bless
    November 19, 2010

    yea yea but listen they should build the international airport

  14. PROMISES
    November 19, 2010

    Dominica alone these so call contractors and enginiers can do that crap and get away with it. Its like all thieves just comming Dominica and steal the country money. The level of work is that is mediocar and outter garbage to say ther least. Take them to task MR Blackmore. Police them cause they operate like slaves they need the wip on their back.

  15. Jayson
    November 19, 2010

    Extremely pleased to see Blackmoore has adopted a no-nonsense attitude especially in the area of dealing with these contractors and taxpayers monies.

    Accountability is the way forward. Good going Blackmoore!

  16. mouth of the south
    November 19, 2010

    @Anonymous: they have money for me too lol!!!!!!!

  17. Reasoning
    November 19, 2010

    Thanks A George.

    I’ve asked for pictures for other articles. Pictures tells it all. may DNO is working on it.

    And about that one lane bridge, the first and last bridge we see coming in and going out of Dominica. The road project, from the airport to Pond Casse, started a while ago…it would have been nice to start with the bridge, its a no brainner, and it is an emergency harad waiting to happen.

    ADMIN
    Sir, as we agree with you, you’re not aware of the daily challenges on what resources we have in running an around-the-clock daily newspaper. Dominica is not the easiest place to do business, and we are not just sitting around not doing anything, or refusing to take photos. So please be patient. We can only do so much at a time. This is not a weekly paper. And we have to keep feeding the site, and we cannot be every where at the same time…. thanks for your understanding while we work on serving your better with the resources we have.

    Tell us we you posting your pictures, I would like to look at whats happenning not just read what is soppusedly happenning.

  18. moi
    November 19, 2010

    and what about the July 15th (!) deadline given to finish the Laudat road? Only 4 months overdue.. and still counting

  19. thanks
    November 19, 2010

    @A George: thanks for requesting the photos, i was just thinking if they can post any pic then i saw your comments. Thanks admin. would like to see what it looks like, and thanks for keeping those of us abroad informed.

  20. PURE JOKES
    November 19, 2010

    I Wonder if is on his brother he put the pressure, Blackmore think he can fool people he better think again for almost two years now them man dragging their feet now you want to talk about pressure, i can see him now a-a-a-l-l-l-l y-ou m-a-n-n J-o-k-ing carl.

  21. A George
    November 19, 2010

    DNO: Any pictures… We’re still waiting on West Coast Project, Canefield to Pond Casse; Airport Road. And what about that one-lane bridge close to the airport everyone talks about? Are there plans to widen that as part of the airport road project?

    ADMIN
    We took some pictures of the road works from town to Possie. Will be doing the others shortly.

  22. Rolle
    November 19, 2010

    That’s Very good Blackmore, at least you doing something for the people of Dominica while the PM and his puppies are on the radio.

  23. Anonymous
    November 19, 2010

    They better hurry so that government can pay them off for Lot one of this project, they have a lot of money for me!

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