Minister: electrical upgrades worth road works disruption
“Short term pain will lead to long term gain” for drivers as Belco in tandem with the Government prepares to dig up Middle Road in Warwick starting on Monday.
The dig will close the westbound lane of the road, with trenching to be carried out between 7.30am and 6pm.
Lieutenant-Colonel David Burch, the Minister of Public Works, said the work entailed “significant upgrades” to Belco’s power cables in the area, with other utilities to include underground cables and pipes.
The dig will extend west on Middle Road from the Belco substation by Belmont Golf Course in Warwick to Longford Hill.
Its next phase is to run as far as Camp Hill in Southampton.
Speaking outside the substation by Belmont, Colonel Burch said the work would allow Belco to renew ageing high voltage cables that have caused “several outages in this area in the last few months”.
He said the job would enable resurfacing of the roads and eliminate the need for future road trenching “for many years to come”.
Colonel Burch added the excavations would allow road widening and resurfacing of Middle Road between Burnt House Hill and the old TN Tatem Middle School, with a minimum 10ft wide road with a 4ft sidewalk.
He said he had received “more complaints about this stretch of road than any other”.
Belco representative Nadir Wade said it was part of a $43 million island-wide trenching and infrastructure replacement job began in early 2020, with extensive work already carried out at the East End.
Mr Wade said the job commencing Monday would ultimately extent from Belmont as far as Morgan’s Point in Southampton.
He added: “Roads that have been trenched and newly paved won’t be dug up again for the foreseeable future.”
Mr Wade said the work would lead to “a more secure and sustainable energy future for Bermuda” as well as generating jobs, although he did not have employment figures at hand.
Initial work in Warwick will take “about six weeks”, Mr Wade said, while further digs to Morgan’s Point are expected to last into 2022.
Mr Wade added: “Alternative routes of transport will be coordinated.”
Island-wide, the dig is a $43 million job, which he said was “all over the island, from the East End to the West End”.
Four contractors are working at the East End, with two more to be brought on as the work expands.
Colonel Burch said the ministry “apologises in advance for any inconvenience” and asked drivers to “take a moment to consider the immense benefits of this work to all road users and the general public”.