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Govt dealing with squatters, land acquisition before Gladstone Rd. project

The government is working on the issue of land acquisitions and squatters along the Gladstone Road thoroughfare before it can begin major roadwork that will eventually turn the traffic-laden corridor into a four-lane highway, Minister of Works and Utilities Alfred Sears said yesterday.

Sears, speaking to the media outside of Cabinet, explained that the government is waiting for those matters to be resolved before it can move forward with the road construction.

Project Officer for the Gladstone Road Improvement Project Dion Munroe said two weeks ago that the Ministry of Works hopes to begin construction before the end of the year.

He said the $29 million project is expected to take two years to complete, and the road improvements should be sufficient for traffic growth on New Providence for the next 20 years.

Munroe added that Bahamas Power and Light is scheduled to relocate its infrastructure that is in the way of the build.

Sears did not say how long the issues of land acquisition and squatting could take.

“Once those are resolved, the project, which will be major in terms of the improvement of infrastructure, as well as the broadening of the road so that there could be a dual carriageway, will begin,” said Sears.

“As you know, it’s a major artery for south/north travel, in terms of school and work and recreation and so on, so it will improve the quality of life.”

He added that the Ministry of Works will begin to put more emphasis on sidewalks and bicycle lanes in order to promote more healthy modes of transportation.

“We want to really contribute to wellness in our country and we’re looking at, with the designers, how as we redo these major thoroughfares we can also accommodate the needs of the residents of the surrounding areas to walk and to cycle.”