BASSETERRE, St. Kitts, June 27, 2019 (Press Unit in the Office of the Prime Minister) – Minister responsible for Public Infrastructure, the Honourable Ian Patches Liburd, has welcomed the timely financial contribution of the Government of the Republic of China (Taiwan) towards the Old Road Bay Rehabilitation Project and hailed it as a significant gesture that will go a long way in ensuring the overall safety and security of all who commute along the 1.2 kilometer stretch of road.
Speaking at a brief cheque handing over ceremony on Tuesday, June 25, at the Office of the Prime Minister, Minister Liburd said the safety of all who traverse the Old Road Bay Road – from the possibility of falling rocks on one side and high, rough seas on the other – has been an issue for many years.
The need to address that portion of the island main road network was heightened in September 2017 when that stretch of road was forcibly closed after it was deemed impassable due to significant erosion and damage sustained during the passing of category 5 Hurricane Maria from Monday.
“This caused some really, really difficult times for those who traverse to Basseterre from Dieppe Bay via Old Road,” Minister Liburd recalled, noting that it resulted in persons living in Old Road, for example, having to travel roughly 20 miles to get to and from Basseterre and those using public transportation having to pay almost double the fare.
Work on the project commenced earlier this year following the signing of the contract between the main contractor, Rock & Dirt Construction Ltd and the Government of St. Kitts and Nevis. The project entails the reclaiming of land up to approximately 24 feet apart from the existing road. The new road will then be elevated some 15 feet above the current road level with guard rails on both sides.
“And so, we know that when this project is completed our infrastructure across that area will be enhanced about 100 percent or more,” the minister added.
Minister Liburd thanked the Government of the Republic of China (Taiwan), through its Resident Ambassador to St. Kitts and Nevis His Excellency Tom Lee, for “hearing our cause and helping us to build resilience in that area.”