August 18, 2008
The Current Island has been home for Myrtis Brown for some 77 years. She knows about life there where, before 1992, there was no electricity or telephones and, today, there are no paved roads. In fact, Brown admitted that she and the 40-50 residents of the fishing community often felt they were ‘forgotten’.
However, being able to witness the official signing of a contract for paving of roads at the Zion Methodist Church in Current Island has changed Ms. Brown’s outlook.
“I was expecting to see a day like this before I die,” said Brown. “My children, grand children and great grand children live in Nassau and want to come home, but there’s nothing to do. When we get the roads it’s going to be different.”
The Bahamas Government on Thursday (August 14, 2008) signed a $1.4 million dollar contract for the paving of 3.1 miles of road in Current Island, Eleuthera. The contract was signed by The Minister of Public Works and Transport the Hon. Neko C. Grant and Eardley Hepburn of Hepburn Pavers. It covers the paving of the main, back and cemetery roads along with the dock’s access road.
“The 40-50 persons that live there deserve to have the basic necessities of life. To be able to move from point A to point B is not a luxury, it’s a necessity,” Minister Grant said. “While the community is small, we wish to not just say, but to demonstrate that we’re concerned about all Bahamians irrespective of where they live.
“The people of Current have endured much. I’m here today in keeping with the commitment we made in Manifesto 07 to improve your lives. We look forward to returning within about 12 months to celebrate with you an improved standard of life.”
Speaker of the House of Assembly and Member of Parliament for North Eleuthera the Hon. Alvin Smith described the contract signing as an historical, momentous and significant event.
He said: “The island is large and the community is small in numbers, but their strength, fortitude and resilience cannot be matched in any community anywhere in The Bahamas.
“It is a community of various industrious people, committed people; very strong people. It is a community that only got electricity after the 1992 elections and only received telephones after the 1992 elections. It’s a community that has suffered much. But, these people have remained here and they have remained committed to building this island. This is there home.”
Also in attendance at the contract signing ceremony were officials from The Ministry of Public Works and Transport including Anita Bernard, Permanent Secretary; Gordon Major, Acting Director; and various representatives from Eleuthera government agencies including Local Government and The Ministry of Tourism.
Contracts Signed for Eleuthera Roads Improvements
The Government of The Bahamas on Thursday (August 14, 2008) signed five contracts for over $13 million of road works, covering 60.3 miles in Current Settlement, Current Island, Harbour Island, Central and South Eleuthera and the Queen’s Highway.
Minister of Public Works and Transport the Hon. Neko C. Grant signed the contracts with various contractors as he launched an ‘infrastructure crusade’ for the Commonwealth of The Bahamas.
Minister Grant said: “The roads in Eleuthera have been in terrible shape for any number years and it is important that we start from where it was most needed. We are embarking on an infrastructure crusade to better the lives of Bahamians. We promised to do that in Manifesto 07 with the ‘Trust Agenda’ and we’re simply keeping our commitment.”
Two contracts were signed with Symonette’s Enterprises for South and Central Eleuthera totaling some $9.1 million and 47.6 miles. The contract for Central Eleuthera, which is expected to be completed in 18 months, covers 22.5 miles and includes the settlements of Gregory Town, James Cistern, Governor’s Harbour, Palmetto Point, Savannah Sound and the Queen’s Highway.
In South Eleuthera 40-50 persons should be employed as a result of the 25.1 miles of road works in John Millar’s Subdivision, Weymss Bight, Cape Eleuthera, Deep Creek, Cotton Bay Road, Green Castle, Bannerman Town and on the Queen’s Highway, at a cost of $4.6 million. Work is scheduled for completion in 12 months.
Member of Parliament for South Eleuthera Mr. Oswald Ingraham termed the signings ‘significant’ and said the road situation has probably been his ‘worst nightmare’.
A $217 million contract was also signed with Austin Knowles Construction Ltd. for interim repairs to the Glass Window Bridge in Central Eleuthera.
“The Glass Window Bridge serves as an important link between Central and South Eleuthera and is an important natural and national feature with touristic importance,” Minister Grant said.
The repairs to the bridge include construction of safety barriers on the bridge deck; construction of support walls, columns and beams under the bridge deck; reinstatement of crash barriers on the approach to the bridge and placement of signage and road markings to facilitate traffic management. George V. Cox and Co. Ltd has been engaged as structural engineers and the project is scheduled for completion in four months.
Member of Parliament for North Eleuthera and Speaker of the House of Assembly the Hon. Alvin Smith said there have been many cries about the deplorable state of the roads in Eleuthera and the repairs would eliminate some of the fears that people have when they approach the bridge.
Two contracts were signed with Mike Stubbs Enterprises: one for 6.4 miles of main and side roads in the Current Settlement at a cost of $1.339 million and the other for 3.2 miles of road, including concrete roads, in Harbour Island, for $1.6 million. The road works in Current Settlement and Harbour Island should be completed in 12 months.
The signing of the $1.4 million contract with Hepburn’s Paving for improvements to the roads in Current Island was a “welcome relief” to the 40-50 residents there. The project, which has a 12 months completion date, includes refurbishment and repaving of the main settlement road, repaving of the back road and repaving of the dock and cemetery access roads.
News date : 08/18/2008