by Linda Straker
- Mt Moritz secondary road became main road to western side of island
- Bahamas-based Caribbean Civil Group presented 4 options
- Work on project should commence in last quarter of 2021
Cabinet has approved an option for responding to the land slippage in the community of Molinere which has caused the Mt Moritz secondary road to become the main road for commuting on the western side of the island.
Infrastructure Minister Norland Cox said that following a study conducting by Bahamas-based Caribbean Civil Group, 4 options were presented as the solution to the problem, but the cabinet approved the one that was “deem most suitable.”
“The option approved and deem most suitable was maintaining the road, moving it slightly, a lateral movement by a few metres and having to stabilise the upper slope and stabilise the slope all the way down to the sea in a terrace-like manner with a number of drains, as well to allow for proper water movement in that area,” Cox announced during the post-cabinet briefing on Wednesday, 7 April 2021.
“We are happy that this option is ready. The next step is that our engineering team will engage the Bank during this week for the steps to take place which will include preliminary designs which will take about 2 months, then you will have final designs which will take another 2 months.” The Minister anticipates that work on the project should commence in the last quarter of 2021 after the tendering process and approval.
Other options included condemning the existing road and turning the Mt Moritz road in the main road, building a bridge in the area and realigning the road more inland.
Grant funds for the Western Main Road Project are being provided by the United Kingdom Caribbean Infrastructure Partnership Fund (UKCIF), which is administered by CDB. The original cost of the project was EC$32 million because at the time of the arrangement the Molinere land slippage was not considered because it was not a problem then. Cox said that Government will have to source additional funding for solving the problem in the Molinere area.
The designs for the road will not only consider the land movement at Molinere but also other areas on the Western side of the island which currently appears to face similar problems in the future.
“Those designs are not for Molinere, but for the entire works to be done on the Western Main Road which will see other slopes being done as well,” Cox said.
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