A number of road projects are taking place on the Island, and some are nearing completion. Since the Public Works and Services Department is now using a new method in resurfacing roads, they are expecting better value for money on future projects.
Desmond Peters, Senior Engineer (Works), from the Public Works and Services Department, said that the new method was introduced to the department four months ago by the previous Chief Engineer, Morag Baird. He described the method as "more efficient and cost effective" since one drum of tar will now cover two and a half times the stretch of road it used to cover. A drum of tar costs £115 so Desmond feels that this should mean considerable savings for the department. This was tested on a road in the Blue Hill area and has proven to be a success. So far this method has only been used on the Blue Hill road but it will now be used on future projects.
In speaking about road projects that are nearing completion, Desmond said that one of the first to be completed will be the retainer wall near Five Bar Gate just above the Briars. Works started in the latter part of last year with a team of six men constructing the stone wall. Desmond said the wall should be completed some time this month.
While not planned, the department also has a team working at the Round Tower on Sandy Bay Ridges where the embankment caved in, during heavy rains, on the lower side of the road. In order to make the area safe, gabions (stone packed) were lowered into the gut to stabilise the bank and the road. Works in this area will also be completed this month.
Meanwhile, resurfacing and filling potholes in the road at Horse Pasture is ongoing. Repairs to the road leading from Crack Plain to Thomsonís Hill is in progress and the main resurfacing will not be done until April of this year as the current funding has been exhausted.
Clearing roads is also ongoing although Desmond said that the department hasnít been able to do as much as they would have liked on this front as labour has had to focus on other jobs such as resurfacing. However progress was made and Desmond said that much was achieved due to assistance by Community Workers from the Employment and Social Security Department.
Commenting on the biggest achievements for 2003 in terms of roads, Desmond said that resurfacing the road in Jamestown was a success, as was the construction of a new road from the Levelwood Clinic area to the Levelwood Kingdom Hall area. A new road was also constructed at the Coltsheds.
All road works were funded from the Public Works and Services Departments annual budget with the exception of the resurfacing of the road in Jamestown which was funded by the Department For International Development.
Looking towards this year, the road in the lower Sandy Bay area is to be quite a large project. Desmond explained that: "this will entail a lot of drainage work to cater for storm water." Works is expected to start on this road in April, subject to the approval of funding.
Public Relations/Information Office
Office of the Chief Secretary
7 January 2004