Categorized | Local, News

The A1 Road Rehabilitation Project resumes next week

By Bennette Roach

Section of road just beyond where reports say they will end

Section of road just beyond where reports say they will end

On May 3, 2013 the UK Department for International Development (DFID) through local representative Dr. Kato Kimbugwe announced and effected the suspension of the funding of the A1 Road Rehabilitation project (the road from Salem to St. John’s) from April 30, 2013.

Since then there have been varying reports of dates for the resumption of the project. DFID had said the suspension came since, “DFID have consistently asked for a detailed program outlining activities and timelines to completion. This has not been forthcoming and the chaotic nature of the implementation does not give us confidence that the project is delivering as planned.”

Plaguing issues

They claimed then also, “…poor project management and implementation.” A number of other  problems were raised to support, such as: planning and scheduling of works; public communication; contract management; the lack of an environmental management plan; road maintenance; and procurement of goods and services. All of these are main issues impacting several other current projects, such as communication, procurement and environmental management.

Date of resumption

The resumption dates have so far failed, but today, following a release dated July 5, 2013, issued on the 8th, DFID informed of, “the conditional lifting of the suspension order on the project and a time extension (4 months to 31stOctober 2013) to facilitate the completion of the emergency works and fulfill existing contractual obligations.”

Section of road where resumption will end

Section of road where resumption will end

The report today quoted the Public Works Department, that actual work is expected to resume on the road from Runway Ghaut. Among conditions for lifting the suspension is for information be provided to the public on the traffic. The report stated further that as a result when the work begins, the traffic would be diverted through Mango drive on the Woodlands beach road, while they promise further updates.

The road from there to the Woodlands Beach Road is in an almost unnavigable state and has been since the suspension, getting worse by the hour, to the horror of motorists.

At the time of the suspension, DFID had stated, “DFID are aware of the challenges that the project has faced with regard to the material supply,” but has since insisted, “with better planning these problems could have been foreseen and the implementation programme adjusted accordingly.

Public Works Department officials said they were working to comply with the requests from DFID and said they were immediately working at putting a plan together for a quick resumption of the project, which Dr. Kimbugwe in a press conference this week said, while admitting that the initial budget for the project, “may not have been adequate.”

As a result, I challenged Kimbugwe since the Hon. Minister in the Legislative Assembly challenged the fairness of the suspension since DFID had been kept abreast of the problems that they acknowledged, suggesting that in addition the project was in trouble from the outset because of the inadequacy of the funding. Kimbugwe discounted the argument and emphasized that the issue was the implementation and management that failed the project.

Dr. Kato Kimbugwe (DFID local rep) at Governor's monthly press conference

Dr. Kato Kimbugwe (DFID local rep) at Governor’s monthly press conference

At the press conference the DFID rep cited work at on the Brades road from Cudjoe Head where work had been undone because of rains, “materials being washed away due to rainfall because the road had not been properly covered or replaced in due course…” He was adamant that the problem was not the short budget but the management and implementation.

Conditions

The release stated that the suspension lift comes with six conditons, which include in shortened form:

  1. Improved management and oversight at all levels from the MCW and MFEM…
  2. Implementation of a comprehensive communication plan…
  3. Developing a contingency plan to deal with potential hurricanes and tropical storms and provides clear instructions on how the road will be made safe and passable during a storm or hurricane…
  4. No sections of the road should be opened up if the ducting, road base, and asphalting materials are not available to complete the works…
  5. GoM to submit a fully costed proposal with an implementation plan must be submitted to DFID by end August 2013 for additional funding to be considered…
  6. GoM must develop a robust maintenance plan for the island’s road network.”

Meanwhile Minister of Communications and Works Charles Kirnon continues to express his lack of understanding for what he refers to as a hullabaloo. Instead he simply wants to see the works completed.

Road just beyond Runaway Ghaut where works will recommence

Road just beyond Runaway Ghaut where works will re-commence

When asked to comment on the lift of the suspension, he responded. “What I would like to see is the road project as was envisaged…completed. It was almost completed given what we had left to do, and I expect that, that will be finished, but is not all news that seems to be good,’ he said.

Speaking for the Ministry, he said: “We have run that project for quite a while until it was almost  completed, its only the piece at number 7, the  duct works, and the side walk from Brades School to Government Headquarters left to be done…I myself am trying to grab a little understanding really what all the hullabaloo is about.”

 

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A Moment with the Registrar of Lands

By Bennette Roach

Section of road just beyond where reports say they will end

Section of road just beyond where reports say they will end

On May 3, 2013 the UK Department for International Development (DFID) through local representative Dr. Kato Kimbugwe announced and effected the suspension of the funding of the A1 Road Rehabilitation project (the road from Salem to St. John’s) from April 30, 2013.

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Since then there have been varying reports of dates for the resumption of the project. DFID had said the suspension came since, “DFID have consistently asked for a detailed program outlining activities and timelines to completion. This has not been forthcoming and the chaotic nature of the implementation does not give us confidence that the project is delivering as planned.”

Plaguing issues

They claimed then also, “…poor project management and implementation.” A number of other  problems were raised to support, such as: planning and scheduling of works; public communication; contract management; the lack of an environmental management plan; road maintenance; and procurement of goods and services. All of these are main issues impacting several other current projects, such as communication, procurement and environmental management.

Date of resumption

The resumption dates have so far failed, but today, following a release dated July 5, 2013, issued on the 8th, DFID informed of, “the conditional lifting of the suspension order on the project and a time extension (4 months to 31stOctober 2013) to facilitate the completion of the emergency works and fulfill existing contractual obligations.”

Section of road where resumption will end

Section of road where resumption will end

The report today quoted the Public Works Department, that actual work is expected to resume on the road from Runway Ghaut. Among conditions for lifting the suspension is for information be provided to the public on the traffic. The report stated further that as a result when the work begins, the traffic would be diverted through Mango drive on the Woodlands beach road, while they promise further updates.

The road from there to the Woodlands Beach Road is in an almost unnavigable state and has been since the suspension, getting worse by the hour, to the horror of motorists.

At the time of the suspension, DFID had stated, “DFID are aware of the challenges that the project has faced with regard to the material supply,” but has since insisted, “with better planning these problems could have been foreseen and the implementation programme adjusted accordingly.

Public Works Department officials said they were working to comply with the requests from DFID and said they were immediately working at putting a plan together for a quick resumption of the project, which Dr. Kimbugwe in a press conference this week said, while admitting that the initial budget for the project, “may not have been adequate.”

As a result, I challenged Kimbugwe since the Hon. Minister in the Legislative Assembly challenged the fairness of the suspension since DFID had been kept abreast of the problems that they acknowledged, suggesting that in addition the project was in trouble from the outset because of the inadequacy of the funding. Kimbugwe discounted the argument and emphasized that the issue was the implementation and management that failed the project.

Dr. Kato Kimbugwe (DFID local rep) at Governor's monthly press conference

Dr. Kato Kimbugwe (DFID local rep) at Governor’s monthly press conference

At the press conference the DFID rep cited work at on the Brades road from Cudjoe Head where work had been undone because of rains, “materials being washed away due to rainfall because the road had not been properly covered or replaced in due course…” He was adamant that the problem was not the short budget but the management and implementation.

Conditions

The release stated that the suspension lift comes with six conditons, which include in shortened form:

  1. Improved management and oversight at all levels from the MCW and MFEM…
  2. Implementation of a comprehensive communication plan…
  3. Developing a contingency plan to deal with potential hurricanes and tropical storms and provides clear instructions on how the road will be made safe and passable during a storm or hurricane…
  4. No sections of the road should be opened up if the ducting, road base, and asphalting materials are not available to complete the works…
  5. GoM to submit a fully costed proposal with an implementation plan must be submitted to DFID by end August 2013 for additional funding to be considered…
  6. GoM must develop a robust maintenance plan for the island’s road network.”

Meanwhile Minister of Communications and Works Charles Kirnon continues to express his lack of understanding for what he refers to as a hullabaloo. Instead he simply wants to see the works completed.

Road just beyond Runaway Ghaut where works will recommence

Road just beyond Runaway Ghaut where works will re-commence

When asked to comment on the lift of the suspension, he responded. “What I would like to see is the road project as was envisaged…completed. It was almost completed given what we had left to do, and I expect that, that will be finished, but is not all news that seems to be good,’ he said.

Speaking for the Ministry, he said: “We have run that project for quite a while until it was almost  completed, its only the piece at number 7, the  duct works, and the side walk from Brades School to Government Headquarters left to be done…I myself am trying to grab a little understanding really what all the hullabaloo is about.”