Damage property … go fix it back!
January 12, 2007
Damage property … go fix it back!

Road users who damage government property such as retaining walls and guard railings would have to “fix them back”.

This stern warning comes from Transport and Works Minister Clayton Burgin who said that there were too many drivers who crash into government property and never repair them. Burgin said that his ministry in 2007, would take serious steps to ensure that persons responsible for destroying public property would have to fix it, since often times drivers who damage property were reckless and expected government to do the repairs.{{more}}

Burgin who was speaking at a press conference on Tuesday, January 9, gave the assurance that the country would have a revamped look with smoother roads and refurbished government buildings.

The Transport and Works Minister in outlining the various infrastructural projects for 2007 said repairing damaged property because of reckless drivers was costly to government and this expense would now be borne by persons who damaged these properties.

Burgin said that the government was going to spend some $90 million to revamp the country’s infrastructure and just over $42 million had already been allocated to his department from the budget.

The Transport and Works Minister said a further $48 million is being sought through loans and grants to revamp projects such as the Windward Highway from Langley Park to Fancy.

Burgin revealed that facilities such as the Calliaqua Town Hall, National Library and Learning Resource Centres would be constructed while rehabilitation work would take place on several government buildings, roads and river defenses among other things.

He pleaded with Vincentians to refrain from building near river embankments, which would occasionally flood and cause damage to their homes during heavy rain. Burgin said that too many people expected government to build river defenses and refurbish their damaged property but noted that this money could be saved if people instead built away from these danger zones.

He promised Vincentians that work would soon commence around the different villages which needed these basic amenities and called on Vincentians to be patient since those that needed assistance would be looked after.

Meanwhile, Chief Engineer Jeffery Cato pointed out that some government structures were built since the 1950s and 1960s and were never reconstructed or re-wired.

Cato said that reconstruction of these buildings such as the Registry was not only necessary for aesthetic purposes, but also to ensure safety since the old electrical wiring could cause fires.

He also noted that several bridges, notably the Warner Corner Bridge at Arnos Vale needed repair and have been deemed unsafe. Cato pointed out that the Warner Corner Bridge only has a brick culvert sustaining it and a temporary road would be cut next week. He said that this would allow traffic to be diverted from the Warner Corner Bridge while it was being re-constructed over the next two months.

The Chief Engineer also announced that phase one of the Cross Country Road from Troumaca to Rose Hall has already been constructed and phase two from the Byera main road to Ferguson gap had already commenced and was expected to be completed by October.

The Chief Engineer said that the surveyors of the Cross Country Road had already completed 80% of their work and were now at the steepest areas of the mountains which was extremely difficult but that surveying would be completed by the end of March.

Cato said that by the end of May 2007 a draft of the final routing for the Cross Country Road would be completed for approval and when the draft is approved, the Ministry of Transport and Works would start negotiating for contracts. He also said that by 2008 the central part of the Cross Country Road from Rose Hall to Ferguson Gap would commence.

For 2007 a maintenance system would be established to ensure that all roads and buildings are properly looked after.