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Road trenching will provide jobs

“Critical” infrastructure upgrades set to begin next month will provide a boost to the economy, the public works minister said yesterday.

Lieutenant-Colonel David Burch said that a three-year project by power provider Belco would “require private-sector contractors being brought on, which will in turn create jobs and work for other sectors”.

He added: “I'm sure all will agree this is good news.”

The minister was speaking at a press conference to highlight a new “co-ordinated approach” to road trenching between the Government and Belco.

Previously, various service providers had carried out tranching work under public roads.

Colonel Burch said: “As we drive on our daily commute, the remnants of this work in the form of uneven road surfaces, recurring potholes and different surfacing materials is something experienced by every road user.”

He added that the new approach was “timely” given grid updates that needed to be made by Belco.

Colonel Burch said the upgrade project “provides the opportunity to co-ordinate their efforts to carry out island-wide trenching and ensure that all the necessary entities are prepared and ready to lay any and all underground equipment they need at the same time”.

He added this could include cables, pipes and conduits.

Colonel Burch said that, when complete, the “people of Bermuda will have newly paved roads across the country that will be more durable, resilient, long lasting and not have to be excavated in the foreseeable future”.

However, he warned that the works would mean traffic delays for commuters.

Colonel Burch said: “It is an unavoidable, but necessary, part of this important work.

“All efforts will be made to give as much advanced notice as possible, and keep disruptions to a minimum.”

He said the work would have an “immense benefit” to Bermuda.

Colonel Burch said: “We will have a far more secure, reliable, state-of-the-art infrastructure for all and probably, most importantly, we foresee no need for future trenching for many years to come.”

Nadir Wade, the director of grid services at Belco, said that trenching work was being planned “to create as minimal disruption as possible”.

Mr Wade said that the project, which is expected to last 36 months, will start in the East End next month.

He added that details of the works would be provided on the company's website.

Mr Wade said that parts of Bermuda's grid were now 60 years old.

He added: “As part of Belco's $250 million capital plan, we are making major improvements to our grid that will serve our customers into the future with more reliable, safe and cost-effective electricity.”

Mr Wade said the upgrades would also allow for renewable energy to be fed into the grid.

Lieutenant-Colonel David Burch (File photograph by Akil Simmons)

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Published January 31, 2020 at 8:00 am (Updated January 31, 2020 at 7:59 am)

Road trenching will provide jobs

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