June 18, 2010
Hot mix shortage affecting repairs’

There is no truth to the suggestion that companies have not been supplying hot mix asphalt to the Roads, Buildings, and General Services Authority (BRAGSA) because they are owed by the Authority.{{more}}

Brian George, CEO of BRAGSA, made this clear on Monday morning during a press conference at BRAGSA’s conference room, Bay Street, Kingstown.

George told the media, frankly, BRAGSA owes no one.

He, however, cited the shortage of hot mix asphalt as the main problem affecting the asphalt repairs aspect of the organization’s Roads Maintenance Programme which started in March 2010.

The Leeward Highway and Kingstown commercial area are the primary areas affected by the shortage of hot mix asphalt, said George.

At the moment, BRAGSA’s work requiring the use of asphalt has been put on hold until a shipment of bitumen arrives from Trinidad and Tobago.

Giving a detailed account of the problems experienced in getting the bitumen here, George mentioned that BRAGSA has encountered challenges with the three suppliers of the product.

He said at the commencement of the programme, one of the suppliers had indicated that within a matter of days, BRAGSA was to have received 4,500 gallons of bitumen. However, that plan did not materialize due to delays.

The problem was compounded when a second supplier indicated that they were encountering mechanical and maintenance repair challenges.

300 tonnes

George said that company has indicated they will be able to produce 300 tonnes of hot mix asphalt within a matter of weeks.

He added that a third supplier has expressed that although their plant was up and functional, they did not have bitumen and did not have any immediate plans to import the product.

Meanwhile, BRAGSA will continue its programme with the concrete aspect of its maintenance work by repairing concrete drains and works of a similar nature.

George also disclosed that BRAGSA has purchased 5,138 gallons of bitumen from Trinidad and Tobago. The shipment is expected to leave Trinidad on June 18 and should be here by this weekend.