“Security” and “progress” are the key drivers of the 2023-2024 Budget for the Ministry of Works and Utilities (MOWU). In his contribution to the House of Assembly Tuesday, June 20, 2023, the Hon. Alfred Sears, under whose purview the Ministry falls, said the MOWU bears a “heavy” responsibility to ensure its objectives enhance security for the population, and reflect progress.
Minister Sears said, “All citizens of The Bahamas have equal right to access public goods, such as roads, bridges, docks and public buildings; safe, reliable, affordable and sustainable electricity and potable water; proper facilities for craft entrepreneurs; and the efficient and sanitary maintenance of our public parks, beaches and roadways. It is only through the competent execution of the town planning, proper zoning, design of projects, proper inspection that we will ensure the delivery of safe, inclusive and resilient public infrastructure.”
Minister Sears listed the following initiatives as the main thrust of the MOWU in the upcoming fiscal year 2023-2024. In order to achieve these strategic objectives, he said the MOWU has been building its capacity to be more “nimble, responsive and smart” in the execution of its statutory functions.
Invest in Infrastructure
• Continue to leverage private sector financing through public-private partnerships.
Develop Family Islands
• The Exuma Road Project and road projects in Cat Island, Long Island, Eleuthera.
• Airport projects in Exuma, Grand Bahama, Eleuthera, Bimini and several other islands.
• Reduce the carbon footprint of the Bahamas Power and Light (BPL) and make electricity and potable water more reliable, affordable and sustainable.
Projects highlighted in the contribution for New Providence and the Family Islands for the 2023-2024 period include the following:
• Enhancement to Clifford Park and the surrounding area
• Repairs to the Thomas A. Robinson National Stadium infrastructure
New Providence Road Paving Programme
• South Beach Community Roads
• Windsor Field Road – Portions
• Bay Street between East Street and the old Bridge
• Eastern Road
• Winton Highway
• Woodland Way (Winton)
• East Street from Palm Tree Avenue to Robinson Road
• East Street South
• Tonique Williams-Darling Highway
• Joe Farrington Road
• Baillou Hill Road South of Carmichael Road
• Baillou Road Between Tonique Williams-Darling and Robinson Road
• Hospital Lane
• Zion Boulevard
• Kennedy Subdivision Roads
Gladstone Road Improvement Project
The final designs for the Gladstone Road Redevelopment Project are approximately 95% completed and work is set to begin by the third quarter of 2023. New features include dual carriage ways, full length sidewalks on both sides, bus stops, additional roundabouts, dedicated street light fixtures along the center median, roadside drainage, an emergency shoulder and a bicycle path. Said Minister Sears, “The final designs are about 95% completed. The next phase is for BPL to begin removing the high and low voltage poles. Simultaneously, we will seek the pre-qualifications of contractors and thereafter recommend the award of a contract.”
ViIlage Road Redevelopment
Minister Sears informed Parliament that this project is virtually completed with the installation of signage and the construction of sidewalks as remaining works. He expressed appreciation to the multi-faceted team from the MOWU, the various utility companies and the contractor for their work on the project. He empathized with the frustration of residents and business owners for the disruption and inconvenience.
Smart City Traffic Lights in New Providence
• The MOWU in conjunction with MioVision, Canada, has implemented a Traffic Management Centre to upgrade the city of Nassau’s network of 80 traffic signals.
New Projects for Family Islands
• Arthurs Town Runway repairs.
$9.5 million. Total reconstruction of the Arthur’s Town runway, taxiway, apron and car park. New fencing, lighting, striping and overhaul to the drainage system. Cost: $9.5 million. Contractor: Knowles Construction and Development Co. Ltd.
Public Private Partnerships (PPP) Projects
• Exuma Road Repairs
$62 million. Rehabilitation and construction of approximately 45 miles of main road and 15 miles of settlement roads in Exuma. Funded by Bahamas Striping Group of Companies
• Cat Island Road Repairs PPP project.
$60 million. Re-construction of approximately 60 miles of main roads in Cat Island from Shannon’s cove in the North to Hawks Nest in the South. Project undertaken by Island Development Company in conjunction with the Bahamas Government.
• Eleuthera Island Road Repairs PPP project.
Rehabilitation and construction of approximately 163 miles of asphalt paving works, road safety enhancements, seawalls, sidewalks, drainage improvements and striping works mainly in the South of Eleuthera from Hatchet Bay to Bannerman Town. Contractors: Quick Fix Construction and Nu View Construction in conjunction with the Bahamas Striping Group of Companies.
Long Island Road Repairs PPP project.
• Rehabilitation and construction of approximately 119 miles of asphalt paving works, road safety enhancements, seawalls, sidewalks, and dredging of the ports. All of the main roads in Long Island and approximately 30 miles of settlement roads. Contractor: Rowdy Boys Construction Company in conjunction with the Bahamas Striping Group of Companies.