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Sears: Bad state of roads being addressed

Minister of Works and Utilities Alfred Sears said yesterday the state of roads on New Providence is being addressed.

“They’re being addressed very comprehensively,” Sears told reporters outside the House of Assembly.

“You will see contractors throughout the 12 zones repairing the roads. And as you know, there’s been a long period of neglect, but our focus is prospective, solving the problem, and they’re being addressed.”

The condition of roads on the island has been of major concern to the motoring public, with many blaming new and existing potholes for damage to their vehicles and, in one case, loss of life.

On Sunday, Prime Minister Philip Davis said the government will start major road works in 2023.

“The Ministry of Works has just produced a plan for the reconstruction of these roads,” Davis said.

“We will be reviewing it this week and work will start very soon.”

Free National Movement Leader Michael Pintard also said on Sunday that New Providence, The Bahamas’ economic hub, requires “focused attention that is sorely lacking under this administration that forecasted substantial improvements and expansion of various thoroughfares”.

“Instead, we are facing elevated complaints from residents about numerous potholes, stalled slow execution of projects underway and no definitive time for start and completion of projects such as the Gladstone Road expansion,” he said in a statement.

Work on the Village Road Improvement Project, which began earlier this year, was scheduled to be completed by September, in time for the 2022/2023 school year, but has since been postponed to the end of the year, despite Office of the Prime Minister Press Secretary Clint Watson previously reporting that the project would be completed by December 12.

A week ago, Sears told The Nassau Guardian that work on the project is progressing “very well”, and that Water and Sewerage Corporation (WSC) “has had to do some additional work in terms of the water mains”. 

He added that paving will be done in three phases, which will last through December, and that “it is expected by the end of December 2022 they will be substantially completed”.

However, despite Watson’s claims that residents “welcome the change” of a roundabout between Bahamas National Trust and Queen’s College, many residents and business owners have expressed that a roundabout would “do little” to ease the daily traffic congestion.