Caribbean Development Bank funding is being used to undertake the rehabilitation of the road network on Jost Van Dyke, according to Government. In a Government Information Service (GIS) press release, it was revealed that the works started yesterday, October 4.
According to Project Coordinator, Dr. Drexel Glasgow, the project, which is the first of many, will be completed under the terms of the CDB Infrastructure Rehabilitation Loan.
He told the Department of Information and Public Relations that the scope of works will include the restoration of severely damaged roadways and the installation of culverts and wall structures to accommodate proper drainage in the area. Construction works will be concentrated on East Road, which sustained severe damage as a result of continuous flooding, landslides and hurricanes.
Minister for Communications and Works, Hon. Mark Vanterpool had previously stated that contractors hoping to participate in infrastructural projects under the $15.7M loan funds may have to enter a competitive bid process, even for contracts under $100,000, which are considered petty contracts by local financial standards.
The Board of Directors of the CDB approved a loan to the Government of the BVI, equivalent to USD $15.67 million for a natural disaster management project. The project is designed to assist the BVI in rehabilitating infrastructure damaged by Tropical Storm Otto, while reducing risks associated with heavy rainfall.
According to the bank, this assistance will have three main components - rehabilitating and reconstructing road and drainage infrastructure to internationally acceptable standards; providing institutional strengthening by conducting a drainage assessment for storm-water flood risk reduction in the Road Town catchment area; and providing assistance for drafting regulations pursuant to the Physical Planning Act, 2004.
On May 18, Premier Hon. Orlando Smith announced that the United Kingdom (UK) granted approval for the BVI Government to go ahead and accept the $15.7 million CDB loan for the rehabilitation of roads and drainage structures across the Territory. The approval came May 14 via a letter from the former UK Minister for Overseas Territories, Henry Bellingham, MP.
Premier Smith had said that the approval was a testimony to the new mature relationship between the BVI Government and the United Kingdom.
The loan, which was approved by the CDB last year following an application from then Virgin Islands Party (VIP) Government, had been held up by the United Kingdom Government. Premier Smith has stated that the delay was due to concerns about the BVI breaching the borrowing guidelines between the BVI and the United Kingdom.