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Work on St. Peter’s main road expected to begin year-end; invitations for tenders will go out shortly


by Kevon Browne

St. Kitts and Nevis (WINN): The people of St. Peter’s have been complaining about the state of their main road for some time now, especially during the recent Island Main Road rehabilitation project started in 2020 and completed in 2022.

The road in St. Peter’s was not seen as part of the Island Main Road and was not budgeted for separately during the last administration’s stint in office.

Prime Minister and Constituency Representative for St. Peter’s, Hon. Dr. Terrance Drew, made it a note to include the much-needed capital project in the 2023 budget estimates with an expected cost of $10.6 million to complete.

People are now anxious about when work on the project will commence, and the Minister of Public Infrastructure and Utilities, Transport, et al., Hon. Konris Maynard, urged citizens to be patient because of the size of the capital project. The Minister projected that the project may commence in the latter part of 2023.

“Because of the significant size of the project – the entire project actually is from the roundabout at the airport right along… [all the way up to Ogees. Although I’ve asked Public Works to prioritise from Ogees coming downward. This process takes a long time before you can start moving material, and that process would have started this year now that we’ve been given a budget for it.”

The brevity of the work includes the necessary plans for upgrades and repairs – experts will assess drainage, sidewalks, infrastructure upgrades or maintenance for water, fibre optics, electricity and people whose properties are along the road to understand what is needed for the project – which the Minister said would take a matter of months to be done.

“This is different from, for instance, some of the paving you will see us do where the Public Works will just go in, scrape off the top, and we lay the coat of asphalt; that is not what we are going to do with the St. Peter’s main road. There are areas that need widening sidewalks that need adjusting, and so it’s a complete plan, and we are going to do it properly. So I just want to urge caution. What we’re going to do, though, we’re going to assess as soon as our asphalt plant is back up – which we hope will be in another two weeks or so – we’re going to assess where they are any critical areas that we can temporarily mend until the overall work is done. But know that Public Works is working on it, and bet your last dollar the Prime Minister is going to make sure it gets done.”

Another critical aspect affecting the commencement of the rehabilitation of the St. Peter’s main road is the lack of a working asphalt plant on St. Kitts. Minister Maynard previously reported that the plant was down and needed serious repairs before it could start producing asphalt for road work.

“With respect to our asphalt plant, I would have mentioned that the asphalt plant had severe damage to it because of the overuse and lack of maintenance over the past couple of years, especially during the construction of the Island Main Road. And so if we use it any further, it will probably have destroyed it, and so it had to be taken out of service and is [presently being] repaired. We anticipate that another two weeks or so is remaining on the repairs for the asphalt plant.”

Recently, a stop-gap measure was undertaken where asphalt was shipped from Nevis to St. Kitts to do road work in the Market Street area. The Minister reported that the success of that option depends on how the asphalt performs after being laid.

“It is a very precarious situation because asphalt has to be done in what they call a hot mix, and if the temperature gets too low, then the application on the road will not last. And so we were doing a trial run to see how it is possible that we can make the asphalt in Nevis, get it on the badge, get it to St. Kitts, lay it and see how that stands up. And so we have done that on Tuesday (March 28)for the lower part of Market Street as a test run. It has gone successful so far, and we will evaluate the performance of the laid asphalt. So we have that option in the event that we have similar situations in the future.”

If successful, the government could use the measure for both St. Kitts and Nevis.

The Prime Minister, Hon. Dr Terrance Drew, said the St. Peter’s Road Rehabilitation project is a priority for him and the government.


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