“World-class” new infrastructure, including better-built roads and expanded water storage, are in the works, according to Jeremy Hodge, deputy permanent secretary in the Ministry of Communications and Works.
Remedial roadworks are currently being carried out, and the territory’s water capacity is expected to double by Christmas thanks to $1.5 million from the United Kingdom given to expand reservoirs, Mr. Hodge said in a press release.
Communications and Works Minister Mark Vanterpool, while leading Governor Gus Jaspert on a recent tour of water facilities, said the funds will be combined with VI government funds to expand the capacity of reservoirs at Sabbath Hill, Balsam Ghut, Sea Cows Bay and Zion Hill by rebuilding them “stronger than ever.”
Meanwhile, reservoirs at Maya Cove, Jost Van Dyke and Virgin Gorda are being replaced, the press release stated. The Maya Cove reservoir will hold 500,000 gallons of water, up from its previous capacity of 300,000 gallons, according to the minister.
Mr. Hodge said the ministry is working side by side with the BVI Electricity Corporation and telecommunications companies to develop the new roads, “so that when we put these roads down we take into consideration future development. We don’t want to put down roads today and then utility companies want to get under our brand-new roads.”
Wires will be placed underground to allow for faster recovery in the event of a hurricane, he added.
Furthermore, in keeping with world standards, sidewalks and access for the disabled will be a high priority in the new road network.
A world-class, modern sewerage system and a modern, cost-effective West End port facility are also to come, he promised.
Mr. Hodge added that the minister, who is reviewing policies and plans, will work with the private sector to construct the West End port and other works, and that consultants are already on the ground providing training.
“We have support advice from UK technicians that have been sent by the [UK] government, and local technicians working along with them to receive their requisite training and skill set,” said the permanent secretary, “so that when we develop these modern infrastructures we can actually maintain them.”
He did not name any private-sector partners.