According to Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Works and Urban Renewal, Philip ‘Brave’ Davis, Abaconians may get a late Christmas present in early January 2013 as he revealed at the launch of Urban Renewal 2.0 in Abaco that funds have been approved to begin paving the roads in Central Abaco.
“The roads of Marsh Harbour and neighboring settlements Dundas and Murphy Town will be started very shortly,” he said; possibly as soon as the first week of January.
The contracted is awarded to Bill Simmons Construction and Heavy Equipment Company Ltd., the same company granted a contract in October for the repair of roads in Murphy Town, Dundas Town and Marsh Harbour for a total of $1 million.
Mr. Davis also commented on the Marsh Harbour International Airport Terminal, assuring Abaconians that despite delays it will soon be ready to open.
He said the government understands Abaco’s potential for massive economic growth and wanted to ensure the airport was complementary to the islands growth, not just for the present but for the future as well.
“A lot of the components of an international airport were not taken into account in the original design and we can’t open it as is otherwise it will not meet the standards to become an international airport,” he said. “Those designs are almost complete; hence the airport opening will be delayed for another three to four months. Whatever there is to fix, we will fix it.”
Mr. Davis also noted that they will “have a runway that is compatible with the investment.”
The proposed fixes will cost the government more than $10 million in overruns before it they are finished bringing the total cost of the airport terminal to nearly $40 million.
In an early statement the Minister of Aviation said the Leonard M Thompson International Airport in Marsh Harbour “with its checkered past of starting and stopping,” was first projected at $27.3 million. Now, officials have said the needed repairs will run taxpayers into an additional $11,930,000. With the hike, the airport comes up at a total cost of nearly $40 million.
Included in that estimate are a $6 million run way extension, $3.8 million to build a freight building, $ 230,000 for that building’s architectural fees and $1.9 million in other architectural fees.