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Government awards contract to repair Harbour Island roads
By Kathryn Campbell Bahamas Information Services
Harbour Island, Eleuthera – The Hon. Neko C Grant, Minister of Public Works, Transport and Housing returned to Eleuthera Wednesday to continue the Infrastructure Crusade that commenced in August 2008. While there he signed a $1.285,208 million contract with Nu View Construction Company for the repair and paving of 3.5 miles of roads in Harbour Island. Minister Grant described the event as a “happy” day that Harbour Island was looking forward to a long time ago. He said in an effort to enhance the provision of water to residents of Harbour Island, the Water and Sewerage Corporation initiated a water main rehabilitation project during the past year.
During phase 1 of the Corporation’s project, the Ministry of Public Works and Transport awarded a contract to Stubbs Equipment to reconstruct 2.5 miles of roads in Harbour Island. The scope of works was changed to follow the Corporation’s water main rehabilitation schedule, Mr. Grant said. “We are all elated that phase 2 of the rehabilitation project in Harbour Island is now completed. Therefore we are able today to proceed with the signing of a contract agreement for the repair and paving of 3.5 miles of roads adversely affected by activities related to phase 2 of the water main rehabilitation project.”
Also participating in the ceremony was Environment Minister the Hon. Earl Deveaux, Minister of State for Local Government the Hon. Byron Woodside, MP for North Eleuthera the Hon. Alvin Smith. Permanent Secretary Colin Higgs, Director John Canton and Engineer Dion Munroe accompanied the delegation. Members of the community including Local Government representatives turned out in full force to witness the event held on the grounds of the Administrator’s residence. The Harbour Island Youth Band provided entertainment for the ceremony.
The Hon. Neko C Grant Minister of Public Works, Transport Housing (centre) is pictured observing as Quinten Kemp, director and vice president of Nu View Construction signs the contract for repair of roads in Harbour Island. Colin Higgs, permanent secretary, is shown at left. (BIS Photo/Letisha Henderson)
Minister Woodside said it is now the time to restore the historic charm of Harbour Island. Mr. Smith apologised to residents and visitors for the deplorable condition of the roads. He described the signing as a momentous occasion to restore, upgrade and offer Harbour Island a better quality of roads. “When stage one of the contract was offered we all expected the roads would have been completed and Harbour Island would have looked so much better. I don’t think we were aware of the enormity of the challenges that we faced when we discovered the problems with water,” he said. No time in the history of North Eleuthera has any government spent as much as this government is spending on infrastructure, Mr. Smith said.
Alvin Smith, MP for North Eleuthera (fourth from left) signs the contract for repair of roads in Harbour Island. Also shown seated from left are Colin Higgs, permanent secretary, the Hon Neko Grant Minister of Public Works, Transport and Housing and Quinten Kemp, director and vice president of Nu View Construction. Minister of State for Local Government Byron Woodside is pictured standing first from right and Environment Minister Earl Deveaux is pictured second from right. Director John Canton is pictured fourth from left along with Local Government and community officials. (BIS Photo/Letisha Henderson)
Today’s signing brings a total of approximately $10 million spent on road works in North Eleuthera since 2007 he added. Minister Deveaux apologised for the distress caused by his ministry with respect to Bahamas Electricity Corporation and Water and Sewerage. “We are a small country and we have developmental challenges. When we signed the contract to do the roads, the infrastructure for your water was so advanced in corrosion that we were stopped and asked not to pave the roads until we restored and rehabilitate the water mains. “Unfortunately it took a long time to fix the water mains and the laterals. We now have a restored water supply.
The water is better and the roads will be better. The economy and reputation of Harbour Island and what it represents as a larger tourist economic product of The Bahamas is critical to our well being. Quinten Kemp, director and vice president of Nu View said his company hopes to begin work to make the roads passable as early as Friday of this week.