Over $213 million in capital road projects are underway across the island, most of which are to be completed by the end of the year.
The road Improvement and maintenance project, which spans from Bath Estate area to Trafalgar is being done with a $22 million grant from the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB). DIPCON Engineering of Trinidad have been contracted to carry out the works.
“They (Trinidad firm) are presently completing the works as originally contracted. They are also trying to improve the draining with a shift from earth to concrete drains,” said Chief Technical Officer in the Ministry of Public Works and Ports, Kendell Johnson.
He said the funding for the new drainage aspect of this project is still being sourced since it was not included in the initial grant. He assured however that even with the additional sub-project, works would be completed by the end of this year.
“We are having concerns about the protracted period with the contractor because we encountered quite a bit of difficulties in that we have been unable or find it difficult to close the road because of the tourist,” Johnson said.
He added that his office is working to address the matter and it “should be completed by the end of the year.” This project has been ongoing for the past 18 months.
Meanwhile, there is the Loubiere/Grand Bay road project, which is being constructed at a cost of over $9.5 million. Barbadian Construction Limited C.O. Williams is executing this European Union (EU) funded project. This too is scheduled to be completed by the end of this year, Johnson said.
The West Coast road rehabilitation project, which is being executed by the Chinese government, is also moving along steadily. Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit said in his 2010/2011 Budget Address that this is the single largest project both in scope and impact. This project costs about $100 million and spans from Roseau to Portsmouth and is scheduled to be completed within the next 18 months. Officials told Dominica News Online that the project is about 20 percent completed.
Regarding the two-part airport road development project, which is currently being done by contractor Emile Gaddarkan et Fils, Johnson said this too is making notable progress. The first phase, which is also to be completed in the closing months of the year, ran a cost of over $30 million.
The second phase of this project, which was signed on March of this year at $52 million, goes from Pond Casse to Melville Hall (Lot2). “Currently we’re doing the final phase of Lot1 (Cane Field to Pond Casse) and we are hoping that that project is completed towards the end of this year,” Johnson said. He added that the only aspects of this phase of the project outstanding are road surfacing, the instillation of guardrails, and road markings.
The second phase is to last for 20 months and is funded through the Agence Francaise de Developpement (AFD). The works involves much excavation, the construction of sea wall structures and rock revetment, bridges and retaining walls and the construction of guardrails to improve road safety.
This particular aspect of the project however is expected to face significant challenges since the new road channels through thick forest terrain and the Public Work’s Ministry anticipates some delay.