Statement By The
Hon. Philip Davis, MP
Deputy Prime Minister/Minister of Works and Urban Development
October 2nd, 2012
This Government and my Ministry were appalled to find the state of some of the roads in Abaco in such disrepair upon coming to office. It is obvious that the deterioration that we find today began long before we were elected to office, and we are baffled as to how and why some Abaconians have allowed these conditions to exist for so long without audible objection.
It is particularly vexing to us because of the high quality roads in Cooper’s Town for example. The disparity is unacceptable, particularly when one considers that the economy of Abaco has been more stable than most of the rest of the Islands in our Country, and boasts of good tourism and second home numbers. It begs us to ask, did the former Administration not think all of Abaco worthy of satisfactory roads and sidewalks?
Notwithstanding this, I, through my Ministry ordered a site inspection, that was carried out on September 19, 2012 to assess the works necessary to improve the condition of the roads in and around Marsh Harbour, Dundas Town, Murphy Town, Great Abaco and Green Turtle Cay.
The findings in full are attached to my statement and I can assure that final decisions are being made at this moment on the best course of action to proceed so that we can expedite this multi-tiered project which includes Road Markings, Paving Works and Sidewalk Improvements for the above mentioned settlements.
I can tell you that the projected cost of remedial and improvement road-works in Dundas Town is estimated at approximately $150,000.00. Some $100,000.00 is needed for specific works in Murphy Town. The grand total for works in and around Marsh Harbour, Dundas Town and Murphy Town, is estimated at one million dollars ($1,000,000.00) as improvements in Marsh Harbour should cost around $750,000.00. Green Turtle is estimated at approximately $250,000.00.
Completion of the Forrest Drive Sidewalk Project is set to cost an additional $150,000.00. Unfortunately, this contract which was initially awarded to John Williams Construction Company in July of 2011, under the former Government for the sum of $630,200.00 was left incomplete by the said Company. We will now have to pay the additional sums for its speedy completion as the sidewalks have become hazardous to pedestrians, especially children walking to and from school.
This Government shares your concerns and feels your frustration and can report that the necessary materials for the projects have been ordered with a view of commencing work immediately. We have heard the stories of busted tires and damaged vehicles. We, ourselves have experienced the dodge and dip game on our ride from the airport and throughout your communities. In some cases there are more holes than asphalt on parts of the road.
Today I am happy therefore to report with utmost confidence that my Ministry and this Government under the able stewardship of Rt. Hon. Perry Christie will get to work in fixing your roads. We have discussed it as priority this morning in this first ever Cabinet meeting outside of New Providence.
On another matter, the Bridge and Port in North Abaco are progressing and have not been cancelled contrary to reports. However, the construction of the gymnasium has been halted because the land which the previous Government ear marked as its site has been declared unsuitable.
Finally, I have great news for the people of Abaco – news not just about infrastructure but news that will directly impact the lives of people throughout the various communities in Abaco. Because this Government cares about people first, and we want to develop people in relation to their environment.
I can very proudly announce today therefore, that the world renowned Urban Renewal Programme now upgraded to Urban Renewal 2.0, will be launched on October 11, 2012 and will be housed at the old National Insurance Building, two buildings down from the Police Station in Dundas Town.
Abaco, like various communities in New Providence and Grand Bahama, can now expect the many social and policing programmes associated with Urban Renewal as well as the urban neighborhood development programmes which will seek to clear debris, old cars, and abandoned buildings from communities in order to make them safer, cleaner, and more habitable.
So big things are in store for Abaco as proof that this Government is a Government committed to the entire Bahamas. And again, I am deeply humbled to have had the opportunity to make these announcements during our break at this historic first sitting of Cabinet outside of New Providence.