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In September, I published a review of the undertaking to build an airport at Argyle, in which I stated (among other things) that the ongoing construction has no known, credible completion schedule. Just prior to that, Vincentians had been advised by the government that the undertaking would be “substantially completed” by the end of this year (2014). I called that schedule a fantasy.
Now, on Nov. 3 (as reported by I-Witness News) Dr Rudy Matthias, CEO of the International Airport Development Corporation has told us that they are still aiming at the year-end schedule. “We are still working towards substantial completion of the airport project by the end of this year” he said. But, he noted that there was an issue with the weather. “The rain that came in the months of July, August, and September, and October too, affected us somewhat, so that the rate of progress of the pavement work was not as good as we would have liked it to be,” Matthias said.
Which raises the question: how much rain really came during those months?
The chart below shows (the blue bars) the average monthly rainfall recorded during July to October for the years 2008 – 2014 (that is, the years since the construction started) and also shows the 10-year average of rainfall (the red line) for those months.
The records clearly show that the average monthly rainfall for the period in 2014 was less than the corresponding period 10-year average and was also less than in every other year except 2012. In fact, the 2014 rainfall has been 20 per cent less than the 10-year average. And note that the work on the pavements actually started in July of 2013, which had a rainier July to October than this year — as anyone who lives in St. Vincent should know.
These are the facts, based on which you can draw your own conclusions. Next, we’ll talk about “substantial completion”, a term we’ve been hearing frequently within recent months. What does it mean? And how does it relate to what’s happening at Argyle? That’s for another episode.
Herbert A (Haz) Samuel
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