Autland Heavy Equipment Company Limited was awarded a contract for $194,065.08 from the Recovery and Development Agency for the first phase of a project to stabilise and reconstruct the Great Mountain road. (Photo: GIS)

Government continued its recent series of infrastructure projects last Thursday, with Autland Heavy Equipment Company Limited awarded a contract for $194,065.08 from the Recovery and Development Agency for the first phase of a project to stabilise and reconstruct the Great Mountain road. The contract was at least the third the company has received from the RDA since May.

“With this project, we will witness the beginning of the restoration of a major artery in our road network,” Transportation, Works and Utilities Minister Kye Rymer said during the contract-signing ceremony. “While there will be a period of discomfort, this minor inconvenience leads us on the path towards a better road network.”

RDA Director of Procurement John Primo explained that four bids were received for the project and Autland’s was the lowest. The project is scheduled to start next Thursday and to include several metres of slope
stabilisation and road reconstruction, officials said.

It will also involve general site clearance and disposal, demolishing of an existing section of reinforced concrete pavement, construction of 30 metres of reinforced concrete pavement with an asphalt overlay, and construction of a 22-by-4.5-metre-high reinforced concrete retaining wall, Mr. Primo said.

Other works will include a 10-metre-long swale drain, construction of 125 metres of reinforced concrete curb wall, construction of 125 metres of reinforced concrete kerb wall, and the installation of 30 metres of guardrail.

The contract is the first phase of an eight-phase construction project to extend into next year, which will be funded by the $65 million Caribbean
Development Bank loan, Mr. Rymer said.

In May, Autland also received RDA contracts together worth $2.5 million to repair the Carrot Bay and Zion Hill water systems. Mr. Primo said at the time that the company submitted the lowest of two bids for that project.

Last month, Autland was also awarded a $2,208,98.40 contract to rebuild the Long Bush reservoir, including the construction of a water tank, a neighbourhood distribution system and the restoration of affected kerbs and roads.

Premier Andrew Fahie said at last week’s ceremony that the new project is also the latest in a series of construction contracts the RDA has signed since May, when government was able to “renegotiate” some of the terms of the $65 million CDB loan intended to rebuild after the 2017 hurricanes.

The works included reservoir and metre systems intended to tackle longstanding water issues, he said, adding that the loan terms would require “further negotiation … to make sure the people have a stake in the development of this economy. In light of this Covid-19 era, this is now more important than ever.”

He claimed that the contracts allowed more money to pass through the VI economy in times of pandemic-driven economic hardship.


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