Road Works Continue in Barzeys
The Ministry of Communications, Works, Labour and Energy is continuing its efforts to improve road conditions and access to communities across Montserrat.
The Ministry is currently conducting road rehabilitation and improvement works in the Barzey’s community. The work is being undertaken in the northern section of the Barzey’s road and is a continuation of the extensive work which has already started on the Barzey’s main road.
The Honouarble Minister of Works, Paul Lewis explained that the work is being undertaken in stages and includes constructing retaining walls in some areas, road widening and bridge installation. The construction of retaining walls is currently being done.
He further stated that the road works are being financed under the Montserrat Priority Infrastructure Needs Project. Mr. Lewis said, “We negotiated an infrastructure priority project for roughly $EC20 million, over three (3) years, and this particular piece of work on the Barzey’s main road is funded from the Infrastructure Priority fund.”
The Ministry’s Civil Engineer, Rawlson Patterson explained that the work in the Barzey’s area is considered critical. He said, “There is a lot of land slippage happening in this area and it is one of the main bypass roads which gives access to the north and especially to our key infrastructures, such as the Hospital, Airport and the Port.”
As it relates to the construction of the retaining walls which is currently being done, Mr. Patterson explained that this aspect of the work was important due to increase rainfall and home developments in that area which have been exaggerating the land movements.
Therefore, he said, “It is important that we construct retaining walls here and apart from that it helps with the widening of the road as it allows for safe access for pedestrians and motorists.”
The project in Barzey’s will also include bridge installation works which have been delayed. Once work on the bridge begins, the aim will be to “increase the capacity and size of the bridge for the flow of water and also taking into consideration debris flow, falling trees further upstream and maintenance”, explained Mr. Patterson.
The Public Works Department (PWD) and contractors are undertaking the works in the Barzey’s area. Two Contractors are currently working on the retaining wall and other contractors will be engaged for the road and drainage works.
Apart from the road works in Barzey’s, the Ministry is also undertaking works in the Judy Piece community. Excavation works is currently taking place on a portion of road in Judy Piece, as part of a wider project which began in the area to provide proper drainage and road access. Minister Lewis said once the budget is passed, the portion of road being excavated will be completed and will conclude the road works in the Judy Piece community.
Mr. Patterson noted that the intent is for communities to have roads that are resilient to storms and other events. He said in the past it was quite difficult to get out of this area (Judy Piece). The Civil Engineer explained that project entails drainage work and constructing concrete roads that will link back to the main road.
The road works are part of the Ministry’s thrust to provide safe road access across the island.
Mr. Lewis and Mr. Patterson provided updates on these road projects during a site visit to the areas today (Wednesday, February 7).