BASSETERRE, St. Kitts, December 14, 2019 (Press Unit in the Office of the Prime Minister) – As the second phase of the comprehensive Island Main Road Rehabilitation Project nears completion, the Government of St. Kitts and Nevis today, Saturday, December 14, opened the recently completed portion of road at Wash Ghaut – located at Cunningham, Cayon – which represents a major piece of the road network.
Work on that portion of road was geared at permanently addressing a longstanding problem of disruption in vehicular traffic due to heavy water flow across the island main road. For years, heavy water flow associated with torrential rainfall or the passage of a hurricane disrupted vehicular activity in that area – at times making it completely impassable.
To rectify the issue, local contractor, I&B Construction Ltd, constructed culverts at the ghaut to properly and effectively address the issue of water flow across the road. A culvert is described as a closed conduit or tunnel used to convey water from one area to another, normally from one side of a road to the other to help alleviate issues of flooding and reduce erosion.
During a ceremony to signal the official opening of that piece of road, Prime Minister Dr. the Honourable Timothy Harris commended his Cabinet colleagues the Honourable Ian Patches Liburd, Minister responsible for Public Infrastructure, and the Honourable Eugene Hamilton, Parliamentary Representative for Constituency Eight and who lives in short walking distance of the Wash Ghaut area.
In highlighting the significance of this development, Prime Minister Harris recalled his own frightening of experience of crossing Wash Ghaut during times of heavy rainfall, and questioned why no administration prior to the Team Unity Government sought to find a long term solution to that once dangerous dilemma.
“For all of my life and before my time [Wash Ghaut] has been that way and you wondered how come no other government before us now had determined that something or some permanent response had to come to be able to deal with it. Today, you are witnesses to history in the making…and we are making good things happen for the safety, for the efficiency of our people moving to and fro,” Dr. Harris said.
Meanwhile, Minister Liburd stated that the Island Main Road Rehabilitation Project sought to improve traffic management and safety throughout the country.
“If you map the process, you would recognize that what we are doing is in areas where possible we are widening the roads and of course…we are considered as very important what we call pedestrian access on our roads, or as sidewalks. Importantly as well is our storm drains and that’s a focus because when you see the water starts to run on the roads it tends to damage the roads and in fact make the roads less safe,” Minister Liburd stated.
Prime Minister Harris also cautioned motorists to drive safely along the newly constructed roads, not only at Wash Ghaut but across other areas in St. Kitts.
He said, “We want to urge the bus drivers and all who will be driving to drive carefully, not just here but everywhere. We have the best roads in the world now and the temptation is for people to speed but please drive within the defined limits.”
Phase two of the Island Main Road Rehabilitation Project encompasses road work between the areas of Keys to Saddlers village.