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Jul 31, 2014

Two Years Later…Still No San Estevan Road…

At his marathon press session on Wednesday, Prime Minister Dean Barrow updated the media on infrastructure works across the country. Those works have been lauded at every turn by the PM, but there’s one long-delayed and bedevilling project which definitely evokes no joy in the PM or in residents and commuters. We’re talking about the San Estevan-Progresso Road, a particularly awful stretch which was to have been completely paved by early 2013, using EU funds. 2013 came and went, and works on the road were not even initiated, much less completed. In very late 2013, the contractors were given a second chance, and after a few months of lukewarm efforts, the project crashed again. So here we are in mid-2014, and residents of the area want their road. The PM says if it were up to him, the contractors would have been shelved a long time ago, but they’re being given another chance.


Prime Minister Dean Barrow

Dean Barrow

“As I understand it, the idea was to cancel the contract for the San Estevan/Progresso Road because of the unconscionable inordinate delays that are frustrating all. The Minister of Works said that at the meeting with the contractors and all parties, the bankers to the contractors were present…and long story short, it was accepted that a sort of funding was in place that would allow the contractors to go forward and get the work done, being given yet another chance. I wasn’t at that meeting; I trust the GOB officials and I know that the EU is usually an organization that acts with alacrity in terms of finding things wrong and wanting to cancel contracts. And by god, all sorts of things have gone wrong. But of course, if the contract had been cancelled, we are looking at doing the entire tender process over, invitations…so matters would be delayed for at least another six to nine months. Officials are satisfied that the contractors can finally get their act together and proceed with the work…I have to accept that perhaps it is the better thing to have given them a second chance or a third chance or a fourth chance…whatever it is.”


The contractors for the project are Bella Vista Development and Lopez Equipment.

Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

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