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End not yet in sight for island-wide roadworks misery

Groundbreaking: work starts on the next phase of trench work on Middle Road in Warwick (Photograph by Blaire Simmons)

The Government admitted yesterday that it did not know when island-wide roadworks would be finished or what the final bill would be.

Wayne Furbert, the acting public works minister, said he did not have the total cost to hand and was unable to say when the work would be finished – but emphasised that funds would be available to complete the work.

He said: “I don’t have that number in front of me now. When will we finish? I can’t at this time tell you when.”

The extensive trenching operations on the island’s road network has brought misery to road users for months.

Mr Furbert, speaking as he updated the public on the progress of major roadworks, said that the Government was “pushing forward” with the projects, but that work would likely continue at least until the autumn.

He added that traffic congestion should start to ease in the eastern parishes “over the next couple of months”.

Mr Furbert said that, although trenching work had been completed in the East End, resurfacing work was required as well.

He added that disruptions to routes in Smith’s and Warwick should also start to ease.

Mr Furbert said that work had started on road widening between Tamarind Vale and Burnt House Hill in Warwick.

He added: “Commuters have seen the limestone excavation in December, which will allow for a sidewalk to be built, making it safer for pedestrians and motorists alike.

“The retaining wall and sidewalk installation will occur after the trenches are complete, with an estimated completion time in the fall of this year.

“The residents in that area have my sincere thanks for allowing boundaries to be moved and for their patience with the necessary disruption to access their homes.”

Mr Furbert said the ministry would provide regular updates on the road widening and the status of the other work locations.

He added: “We will also be sharing a map of the island showing the locations of each trench, showing the estimated completion times with the named roads.

“Once the trench work has been completed in a particular area, asphalting will commence to smooth out the roads and repair potholes and damage to the road surface.

“The area from Harrington Sound Road to Paynter’s Road has been identified as the first to be asphalted, with that phase estimated to begin mid-February.”

Mr Furbert said: “The digging of the trenching has stopped in part of St George’s and will be moving to Southside very soon, so we realised that the roads are bumpy and government recognised that and so some actions will be taken.”

He promised: “I can guarantee one sure thing – that potholes will be fixed. We’ve done some potholes – I know as I’ve been acting minister we’ve fixed some of the potholes. There’s money in the budget for asphalting.”

Mr Furbert said that “the execution of significant infrastructure upgrades“ demonstrated the Government’s ”commit to provide and maintain jobs to Bermudians“.

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Published January 21, 2022 at 7:54 am (Updated January 21, 2022 at 7:41 am)

End not yet in sight for island-wide roadworks misery

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