Basseterre, St. Kitts, July 20, 2016 (SKNIS): A three-year plan is currently in its developmental stage for the construction and maintenance of roads in St. Kitts, which will see a safer and better quality of commuting experience for drivers, locals and tourists alike, who would also benefit economically by “not having to dodge or drop in pot holes” and incur the cost of repairing their tires etc., says Director of Public Works Cromwell Williams.
“The Public Works Department is charged with the maintenance and upkeep of roads,” said Mr. Williams. “Roads are very important, as they are a means of transportation for the public. Both from an economic stand point and a social standpoint roads are important.”
He added that the Department has always tried its best to maintain the roads “in a manner that is safe for the public to travel and will hopefully not result in excessive wear and tear on road users’ vehicles because at the end of the day it would be an additional cost to them.”
“So we are in the process of first looking at the island main road and so we have put together a project which we are discussing with the Ministry of Finance and the Ministry of Sustainable Development for the next fiscal year, which is 2017 and we are hoping that starting next year we can actually begin work on resurfacing and rehabilitation of the island main road.”
Mr. Williams said that the Department is also looking at minor roads, also called secondary roads which will include some of the roads in the Basseterre area and roads in the villages and the rural areas. Some of the roads will consist of asphalt and some will be concrete.
The Public Works Director said that there will also be the construction of new roads in Government distributed lands and where there are National Housing Corporation (NHC) houses.
“We are currently preparing the estimates for some of these areas. Currently there are 60 such areas.”
The Department is presently looking at purchasing equipment for the project.
“We have already acquired the rollers which should be arriving as soon as next month,” said Mr. Williams. “Equipment is important in the work that we do, including heavy equipment such as rollers, road pavers, graders and the like. These are very expensive pieces of equipment and without them we would not be able to undertake the maintenance and upkeep of the roads.”
He stated that there were negotiations between the Department and the Ministry of Finance to source the funds, as it will be “a major factor that would influence the upkeep of the roads.”
The project is expected to continue beyond the three years to ensure the safety and quality of the roads.