Road Works To Resume Soon

Melissa Edwards, Senior Reporter | 1 Opinions
Published: May 18, 2017 8:00 am AST
Photo Credit: BVI Platinum News
The government is looking to recommence much needed road repairs in the coming weeks, disclosed Hon. Mark Vanterpool, Minister of Communications and Works.

Minister Vanterpool, speaking on the $16M unsecured loan from the Social Security Board (SSB), said that they have $3.9M remaining to draw down. He also said that there were fair distribution of works under the loan funds.

The Minister said from December 2016 to present, not much work has been taking place.

"Between that time and now, there has been very little activity regarding road works. My Ministry and the Public Works Department were engaged in completing designs and costing of the remaining projects to be executed. We intend to recommence works within the next few weeks," he assured.

Minister Vanterpool explained that they have drawn down $12,087,588.24, of which a total of $10,528,082.20 has been spent and a balance remains of $1,559,506.04.

"This will be applied to committed contracts. The Government of the Virgin Islands is in the process of receiving the last draw down of $3,912,141.76 for new works to be contracted and executed," he said.

It was explained that the balance is expected to finance the continuation of road rehabilitation works in the areas of the Belle Vue Church of God of Prophecy entrance, to the top of Hope Hill; Baugher’s Bay Public Works junction to Baugher’s Bay beach entrance; Waterfront Drive below Road Town jetty to Prospect Reef roundabout; Anegada main road leading to Cow Wreck Hotel and Beach Bar; and on Jost Van Dyke - Rudy’s Bar to Foxy’s Restaurant – “Bottom Road”.

The Minister also assured that the rules of the Protocols for Effective Financial Management and the Public Finance Management Amendment Act were followed.

"These processes have been followed throughout the execution and award of goods and services procured by my Ministry," he said.

He said that to further clarify, the quotations were sought and obtained from vendors throughout the Territory, for goods such as construction materials, and as it relates to the procurement of services by way of heavy equipment, including trucks, excavators and backhoes.

It was noted that the rate of compensation has been set by the Public Works Department and these are the rates that have been used for compensating, when such equipment is hired.

"Given the quantity of work that was expected to be executed by way of the road rehabilitation projects, the Ministry and Public Works Department utilized a list held by the Public Works Department, which contained all equipment operators in the Territory, registered with the Public Works Department," he said.

The Minister noted that in addition, the Ministry sought the assistance of all District Representatives to provide a further list of operators that may not have been on the Public Works Department’s list.

"To my knowledge, all of these operators were assigned works. There are some goods and services that are of limited supply within the Territory, including asphalt for road pavement, concrete, sub-base material and other quarry material."

He noted that where the supply exceeded $100,000, Cabinet’s approval was obtained in accordance with the Public Finance Management Amendment Act, 2005, Part 27, Procurement of Goods and Services, Section 170 (2).

Readers' Opinion

Please note that the opinions posted are the opinions of its author and does not reflect the views of the management, staff, parent company or sponsors of Virgin Islands Platinum News.