The Molinere land slippage project is expected to now cost government EC$12 million to complete, according to Minister for Mobilisation Implementation and Transformation (MIT) Andy Williams.
The senior government minister told THE NEW TODAY that an additional EC$12 million will now have to be spent on the revised project in which the Trinidad-based outfit Beston Consulting Limited has been appointed as the Consultants.
“The increased cost is approximately about EC$12million,” he said.
According to Minister Williams, the project is now back on stream and “work is taking place” and “moving” in the right direction in terms of the a full scale crew on site at this point in time.
He said the contractor is currently engaged in doing the piling on the ground in order to give the road a firm platform.
The minister indicated that the former New National Party (NNP) administration of Keith Mitchell did not take into consideration the work that was needed at the top of the hill which is virtually a gravel heap.
He charged that the design for the project that was done under the last government was not “the best design” for a complex project of that nature.
“You could have fixed the road but the top (of the hill) will still have this slippage so this new design will take into consideration the slippage at the top and it will not affect the road – so it’s a superior design now,” he said.
The minister confirmed that the Congress administration of Prime Minister Dickon Mitchell was able to meet the financial obligations due to property owners for the lands that had to be acquired by the State to undertake the project.
During a recent sitting of Parliament, Prime Minister Dickon Mitchell in response to queries made by his predecessor in office Keith Mitchell, confirmed that significant changes had to be made to the original design of the project under the NNP regime.
He said: “The movement of the material at the upper slope has required the upper bank to be stabilised. This will be done via a geomembrane that will be placed on the surface that will reduce the impact of the elements, as well as provide support to the soil. To re-establish the roadway, additional piling will be done to create a stable foundation for the elevated road deck which will be supported by a reinforced concrete structure. This will negate the effects of any debris that may potentially have an impact on the proper functioning of the road after it is reopened. Also, works to stabilise the area downslope of the road will take place with a similar solution to that of the upslope.”
The problem with the road in Molinere started in 2021 forcing the public to use the hilly Mt Moritz terrain to move along the Western corridor of the island.