By YOURI KEMP
Tribune Business Reporter
THE Government plans to invest more than $50m on Family Island infrastructure projects over the next two years, a Cabinet minister said yesterday.
Desmond Bannister, minister of works, told the House of Assembly: “In North Eleuthera we have recently signed an engineering consultancy contract in the amount of $2.041m for the Glass Window Bridge. This phase will take 12 months.
“So this time next year we intend to tender and begin construction of a new modern, scenic, safe Glass Window Bridge, which we anticipate will take 24 months and will be the most extensive, expensive and iconic bridge construction project ever in The Bahamas.”
He then added: “In a few days we will be issuing tenders for the rehabilitation of the main public dock in Rock Sound and the Fisherman’s Dock. This will represent an investment of approximately $3m in the South Eleuthera economy
“The roads in Eleuthera have been in terrible condition for many years. The Government has approved an investment of approximately $11m to rehabilitate and pave roads throughout Eleuthera.”
Turning to Grand Bahama, Mr Bannister said: “Cabinet has allocated $1.078m to complete the construction of the Fishing Hole Road causeway, inclusive of creating a concrete surface.
“The Government is allocating an initial sum of $6.088m for road repairing and road paving in areas of Grand Bahama for which the Government of The Bahamas is responsible.”
With respect to Andros, Mr Bannister added: “Engineering studies are underway for the construction of a new bridge at Stafford Creek, which we expect to build in 2021. The Government has also allocated the sum of $9.693m for the construction of a modern bridge at Staniard Creek. This time next year we should be seeing the completion of that new bridge and a new airport for the Berry islands.
“In Central Andros, engineers are being contracted to undertake the technical studies for the magnificent and modern Fresh Creek Bridge.
“We expect to tender the project by this time next year, which will be the second longest bridge in the Family Islands, and we are committed to finding a minimum of $10m that will be required to build that vital link in Andros.”
Mr Bannister continued: “We have allocated a sum of $8.433m to pave roads in South Andros. That work will begin by the middle of the year.
“The Government will also build a new school in Ragged Island, and also has committed $1.475m to repair and pave the roads in Blackpoint, Exuma” and a further $8m to reconstruct and pave roads in Great Exuma.