Highway 7 is in for a fix, but the full works may not be completed until March 2025.
Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Transport, Works and Water Resources Santia Bradshaw gave an overview of plans to refurbish the South Coast road as well as deal with poor drainage, during the Barbados Labour Party’s Christ Church Speaks held at Foundation School on Monday night.
“With all best intentions, the same human resources would be required to both Highway 1 and Highway 7. We have been able to complete Highway 1 . . . . Now we have put the teams to start the actual tendering for consultants to do the design on Highway 7,” she said.
She, however, stated that Highway 7 was very complex as it involves the South Coast sewerage plant and any road design must take that into consideration, along with the utility companies.
“We have finally got that tendering process done. The consultant has been selected. That process for negotiation is about to take place. Once that is done . . . then it has to go out to tender for a contract to be engaged to do the works. Our best-case scenario now is looking at March 2025 to have the works completed.”
Bradshaw said Government will execute a mill and pave programme on the road before the end of November – a temporary fix to bring relief which will cost less than $300 000.
“We are prepared to . . . look at some of the trouble spots along Highway 7. We started to do a cost-benefit analysis in making a decision whether to do a temporary fix, because if we leave it, everybody is going to call to say this area needs to be patched because it has faults,” she said.
The minister said the drainage problems surfaced due to flooding not only in Christ Church, but efforts have been made to contract consultants to do flooding engineering services to redesign affected areas.
She said the plan was not a straightforward thing just to clear the drains from time to time, but more had to be done for places like Goodland Gardens and Dover.
“I am hopeful that by the next hurricane season we will not have the level of flooding that we are experiencing presently,” she added. (JS)