Minister Edghill resolves $31.6M road rehab issues in No. 2 Village
―contractor, Clerk of Works, engineer urged to work according to Bill of Quantities
Minister of Public Works, Hon. Bishop Juan Edghill has called on contractors and other workers undertaking $31.6 million rehabilitation works on Brehaspat Street, Number Two Village, Region Six, to comply with the terms of the contract and deliver quality work to residents.
He handed down these instructions following a meeting with residents, regional officials, the contractor and staff of the Ministry on Tuesday, after residents voiced concerns about being short-changed on the project. Residents alleged that the entire street was not being graded and levelled with asphalt as stipulated in the contract.
“The Bill [Bill of Quantities] and the scope must be implemented and if there are any changes, it is not a beat-hand arrangement between the contractor and an engineer. It must officially be recorded by way of a letter,” Minister Edghill said at the meeting.
To provide insight, the engineer said while the contract provided for a full rehabilitation of the street, including excavating the entire road, this was not done because several sections of the street had solid, uncompromised foundation. As such, only the dilapidated sections were excavated.
Minister Edghill then requested the documents that attributed a change in the scope of works, and committed to providing stronger supervision on the project. Further, he underscored that the contractor cannot be paid the full contract costs since the scope of works was reduced. The Minister also implored staff to rectify any discrepancy that may exist. The savings on the contract, he said, can be used to execute upgrades on other dilapidated streets.
Over in Black Bush Polder, Minister Edghill inspected the $67 million road upgrades being executed by contractor KP Thomas. That project is moving apace, with vast sections of the foundation of the main access road were being compacted up to Tuesday. The contractor indicated that he is going to complete the project within the prescribed timeframe.
At a meeting with villagers in the office of the Neighbourhood Democratic Council, Minister Edghill said the rehabilitation of the road is of grave importance as the largely rice-producing community is preparing to harvest soon.
At the same time, the Minister emphasised that rice farmers and millers must respect the weight limits of the road to avoid rapid deterioration and to allow all residents to benefit from public infrastructure.
The meeting also discussed other issues including farmers use of residential lots for rice cultivation and the subsequent damage caused by heavy machinery to the surrounding streets in those areas.
To this end, Minister Edghill pledged to investigate the matter and provide feedback on the way forward.
Miscellaneous roads programme
Meanwhile, $9 billion has been proposed in Budget 2021 to rehabilitate and construct miscellaneous roads.
Minister Edghill said the programme would set aside $2 billion for new roadworks, while other sums from the main allocation would complete rollover projects from 2020, since there was a late passage of the last budget.
Within Region Six, approximately $1 billion will be invested to build the road from Number 58 Village to Canje Creek to further the Government’s development plans.
Currently, over 160 road upgrades are being done throughout the country.
Minister Edghill’s visit to the Region was preceded by an inspection of the $53 million upgrades along the De Hoop Access Road.