As is customary each year, we join in the international celebration to observe Public Works Week within the month of May.
It gives me great pleasure to address you as the Minister responsible for Public Infrastructure, Post and Urban Development on the occasion of the launch of “Public Works Week 2021” which will run from Sunday, May 23rd to Saturday, May 29th.
The Ministry of Public Infrastructure, Post & Urban Development, through its Public Works Department, has organized several activities to honor the vital contribution public works professionals make every day to communities across the Federation. We also invite the general public to celebrate their quiet dedication and indispensable influence on our way of life. This will be done under the theme: “Working Together to Serve You Better”.
“Working Together to Serve You Better” as the theme for the 2021 Public Works Week challenges us a Ministry, department, and citizens of the Federation of St. Kitts & Nevis to think about the role public works plays in creating a great place to live. By working together, the impact citizens and public works professionals can have on their communities is magnified and results in the ability to accomplish goals once thought unattainable.
The Public Works Department strives to be a testament to this theme and seeks the public’s indulgence to work hand in hand with us. The department does not work as an independent entity. We believe that for a project to be successful and fit for its purpose, the involvement or working together with our stakeholders is paramount.
The Rehabilitation of the Island Main Road could not have been possible without the combined effort of our stakeholders such as The Cable Company, Flow, SKELEC, Water Services Department and you the people. We continue to crave your patience as we work to complete this project.
A typical example is within the Sandy Point area:
- A condition survey was done with all residents and businesses whose properties are 100 feet from the center of the Island Main Road on both sides of the road.
- The Water Services Department then laid new water lines
- Now currently, we have The Cable Company cutting the road to install ducts for new fiber optic cable
- And then very shortly after, the main contractor will be on the ground to resurface the road.
In undertaking projects, one of our aims is to work together with our stakeholders and you the general public so that we could serve you better by providing a final product that all of us could be happy about and would serve us with minimal maintenance for a very long time.
Other projects of note that are underway are the Old Road Bay Rehabilitation and the Traffic Signal Projects.
The Rehabilitation of Old Road Bay is a $31.8 million project which is undertaken by a local
contractor Rock & Dirt Ltd. it involves:
i. Reclaiming of land on the seaside
ii. Raising the level of the new parcel of land, so far, all of this has been completed
iii. Paving of the road with concrete and then asphalt. The asphalt paving is currently in
iv. After which, lighting of the road
v. Addition of guard rails will be placed on both sides of the road.
vi. Road marking & traffic signs will be installed
vii. And rock armour protection on the seaside
The transportation and placing of the rock armour will continue for few more months
before completion. However, the paving should be completed shortly and on or before the end of this month, you will be able to drive on a safer and much better road.
The Ministry of Public Infrastructure, Post and Urban Development is continuing with the Phase 2 Installation of Traffic Signal throughout St. Kitts. The Public Works Department has identified seven areas and the new traffic lights have been installed. This federally funded project is aligned with the department’s mission to rebuild a resilient roadway infrastructure. It is an extension of Phase 1 as the volume of vehicles continues to increase on our roads. Phase 1 of the Installation of the Traffic Signal was completed in January 2018. Phase 2 of the Traffic Light Project is expected to be completed by May 31, 2021.
The Public Works Department is also involved in the supervision of several other infrastructural projects which are either ongoing or are in an advanced stage of planning. They include but are not limited to:
- The construction of the New Basseterre High School
- The construction of the Ministry of Sustainable Development Headquarters at Lime
- Completion of the new National Security Facility (New Police Training School)
The week of activities will be used to highlight the previously mentioned theme as well as to honor the hard work of the current and former employees of the department, starting with a church service at the Christian Life Assembly, on Sunday, at 10 AM on May 23. The general public is invited to join us.
Other activities will include a staff development training; an appearance on the radio program “Working For You” at 1:30 PM on May 26; Health check sessions for the staff of the Ministry at 9 AM on May 26 and 27; a health walk throughout Basseterre at 4 PM on May 27; a visit to former public works employees on May 27; an open day at the Quarry for primary school-aged students from 9 AM on May 28. The Month of activities will wrap up with a social and networking activity for the staff.
At this time, I would like to recognize and congratulate Mr. Sam Bowry for submitting the winning theme, as a part of an internal competition, which we have adopted as this year’s theme for Public Works Week 2021.
Also, as the Minister of Public Infrastructure, Post and Urban Development, it gives me great pleasure to salute and thank the Public Works Professionals who serve our community every day by ensuring that our public facilities and infrastructure are well maintained and provide services that are vital to sustainable and resilient communities.
I now take this opportunity to officially declare Public Works Week 2021 open and wish all of my colleagues a successful week of activities.