Car skid on loose gravel on the South Leeward Highway on Sept. 25. (IWN photo)

The South Leeward rehabilitation project, which is contracted to be completed by May 2016, is running “slightly behind time”, Prime Minister and Minister of Works, Ralph Gonsalves, said Monday.

The project will see the road from Kingstown to Layou being resurfaced, widened in some places, and drains installed.

Actually, work on the highway began about a year ago, but road users are expressing frustration with the progress, as the contractor, Dipcon Engineering, is yet to resurface any section of the highway.

The construction of drains and retaining walls is still incomplete.

Resurfacing is yet to begin, even on the stretch of road between Campden Park and Questelles, the only segment that seems to be near completion.

Two weeks ago, the stone on a section of that stretch came loose sending many vehicles skidding.

While motorists and other road users have acknowledged that there will be inconveniences during the upgrade, they have also lamented the impact, on their vehicles, of the large potholes in some segments of the road, which have caused tyres to blow out and shocks to become worn in mere months.

Dipcon recently laid off most of the staff that it had employed on the road.

In response to a question about the highway, Gonsalves told reporters:

“The last report I got is that they are slightly behind time and they could make up their time.”

He said the delay is related to the availability of hot mix asphalt and aggregate, which he also said is affecting the repair of roads in other parts o the country.

“There is a solution which is at hand. But seems to me that they are doing — the shape of the road and the kind of drainage, and the widening, it is a good design. Of course, there could always be better designs. But it is what your dollar can pay for. That’s the reality,” Gonsalves said.

He said Dipcon, which owns a hot mix asphalt plant, has indicated that it might seek permission to import crushed stone from Dominica.

3 replies on “South Leeward Highway repair ‘slightly behind time’ ”

  1. The truth is that the job is underfunded and there is a cash crisis.

    The road may well become another 10 year project like the Argyle airport and the Georgetown diagnostic centre, both 3 year projects that are taking 10 years to complete.

    Asphalt has to be paid for, in particular the importation of the tar or bitumen. I am told and verily believe there are outstanding bills to suppliers in Trinidad which has turned off further supplies. What they have in stock at the airport is needed for the runway to complete. The whole matter is a financial mess.

    Dipcon has laid off most of the road staff, you do not do that if everything is OK.

  2. Why don’t they explore the possibility of setting up a stone crushing plant here than ordering stone from Dominica. SVG has lots of stone so create employment here than sending the much needed money out.

    1. Anita they have a huge crusher plant at the airport and there are a number of privately owned crushers in the country, including one close to the leeward highway road works. What is going on is anyone’s guess

      Just another smelly proposition I suppose.

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