Govt to borrow extra $65m

By SANCHESKA BROWN Tribune Staff Reporter sbrown@tribunemedia.net THE Government will borrow an additional $65 million from the Inter-American Development Bank to complete the already over-budget New Providence Infrastructure Improvement Project, Prime Minister Hubert Ingraham announced yesterday. Addressing members in the House of Assembly Mr Ingraham said the projected total cost of the IDB funded portion of the project is now estimated at $206 million. He said: "To date the IDB has provided some $129 million in two loans leaving a funding gap of $77 million, $30 million in respect to fuel escalation, $19 million in contingencies, $14 million of variations and modifications, $9 million due to delay in project completion and $5 million in professional and engineering fees. The Government is now seeking a further loan from the IDB in the amount of $65 million to meet a funding gap." The NPIIP was expected to be completed by the end of January 2012, however due to challenges and complexities of the project, the Prime Minster said the government is currently negotiating an Addendum to finalise a revised completion date. Mr Ingraham listed the challenges of the project as; unforeseen site works, the discovery of mapped, unmapped and unaccounted for underground utilities, the need for additional water works due to the poor condition of pipes, changes in the designs carried out in densely populated areas, escalation in the price of fuel, utility underground congestion and conflicts and land acquisition. The Prime Minister announced that in addition to the roads already being worked on under the NPIIP a contract has been awarded to make improvements to the Joe Farrington, Fox Hill and Yamacraw Roads intersection. Work is expected to begin on that shortly. He said construction drawings have also been completed for the construction of a double roundabout at the East Bay and Shirley Streets and Village Road intersection. Construction of these roundabouts are also scheduled to begin soon. Despite the many challenges of the project, the Prime Minister said society as a whole will reap significant benefits. "Already many residents in Eastern New Providence are experiencing better water pressure resulting from the 24-inch water main installed from Robinson Road at 2nd Street to Fox Hill Road. As well, under the Airport Gateway projects a 24-inch water main is being installed along JFK Drive from LPIA to the Tonique Williams Darling Highway," he said. "This main when commissioned will provide improved water services, pressure and water quality to residents in the west, central and south. On completion of these water works, some 70 per cent of Water and Sewerage customers will experience much improved water service, pressure and quality." Mr Ingraham said he has also been assured that by the end of the month works will be completed on the following roads to allow two way traffic; Market Street from Duke Street to Robinson Road; Prince Charles from Fox Hill Road to Marathon Road and Baillou Hill Road South to Solider Road. The Prime Minister admitted that the NPIIP has been "vexing and tortuous" and suggested an independent review of the government's administration of the project. He said the report will be made public so that appropriate lessons may be learnt from the experience and inform public policy in the future. The NPIIP originally began in 1994. The first contractor hired, Associated Asphalt (AA) went into receivership resulting in works coming to a halt in 2002. Prior to its stoppage AA completed Charles Saunders Highway, the Milo Butler Highway and the Gladstone Road Realignment valued at $11.4 million. The project was put to bid in 2004 and again in January of 2006 after no contractors submitted a bid. On April 4, 2007, four international companies were invite to bid on the project. In September of 2008, the government awarded $119.9 to Jose Cartellone Constucciones Civiles (JCCC) to complete the NPIIP. Work began on January 5, 2009. A sum of $15 million has been paid to JCCC for escalation costs up to October 31, 2011 out of a projected sum of $30 million.


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