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.