BASSETERRE, St. Kitts, September 26, 2019 (Press Unit in the Office of the Prime Minister) – There is no damage whatsoever to the Old Road Bay Road Rehabilitation project.
That assertion was made by the Chief Executive Officer of Rock & Dirt Limited, Mr. Alexes Hazel, in response to an article being circulated online suggesting that the project sustained “significant” damage as a result of the strong water surges associated with the passing of Tropical Storm Karen.
On the contrary, Mr. Hazel noted that the high winds, rain and storm surges that affected the country over the recent days presented them the perfect opportunity to test the effectiveness of the project’s design and capacity.
“Once you’re doing a project of this nature what you want to happen is that you want to get a test to get a better feel of how the design is going to react to what we are trying to accomplish here and the design held up perfectly. The reason why I am saying that is because with this rough water we had for two days I had absolutely zero damage,” Mr. Hazel said.
Mr. Hazel also commented on the purported threat to other coastal areas created by the revetment work on the Old Road Bay Road project.
He said, “This is like a drop in the bucket. If you push back the Old Road Bay water about 30 feet out, you’re also cushioning the sea that comes to it and so you’re not really forcing the water around to Halfway Tree and others because we are not claiming back acres of land, you’re just doing some revetment work on the coastal area. So you’re really not putting any pressure back on Sandy Point and Halfway Tree as some people would think.”
Meanwhile, the Honourable Lindsay Grant, the Parliamentary Representative for Constituency Four in which the Old Road Bay lies, commended Rock and Dirt Ltd for the job they are doing on this major capital project.
“I’m happy that Rock and Dirt – they are the main contractors – could have come and explain exactly what had transpired and I think significant from what he said is the fact that what the rains and the winds and the gusts that we had recently from Tropical Storm Karen is really a test for this project. Obviously this is a major project. It’s $31 million dollars by the Government of St. Kitts and Nevis and the Republic of China (Taiwan); it’s the most significant capital investment in this constituency and so we need persons yes to be critical but critical with information,” Minister Grant stated.
The new road will be extended on the reclaimed land and be approximately 24 feet apart from the existing road. It will also be elevated several feet above the current road and have guard rails on both sides, and according to Minister Grant this will all add to overall safety for vehicular traffic.
“I ply this road two sometimes three times a day and I know the fear of a lot of travelers when it comes to this area, especially when we have critical rainfall and tropical storms so the project is going on smoothly and we hope that at the end of the day we get a project that’s fantastic and it endures to the benefit of all the citizens of St. Kitts and Nevis.”
The reconstruction of the 1.2 kilometre stretch of road is providing jobs for more than 120 locals.