By Bishop Ken Carroll
Residents of North Abaco came out to hear the findings pertaining to the reconstruction of a causeway between Great Abaco and Little Abaco. The Bridge (as it is colloquially known) will restore the natural flow of water between two creek systems which act as fish breeding grounds – especially important to the fishing communities of North Abaco.
The community meeting was held at the Fox Town Primary School on Wednesday, February 1, 2017 at 7pm. The project was granted to China Harbor Engineering Company and sub-contracted to Waugh Construction out of Freeport, Grand Bahama.
Chairing the community meeting was Island Administrator for North Abaco, Whelma Colebrook, who introduced the president of Waugh Construction Company, Godfrey Waugh, who was accompanied by two Ministry of Works Engineers: Leyton Rahman and Robert Moizas.
Waugh, casually dressed, told the oversized crowd that he is no stranger to Abaco, pointing out that his father helped build the Treasure Cay Airport thirty five years ago and he was more than happy to accept this major project and referenced that his company was highly recommended by the Ministry of Works out of Nassau. They are willing to work with the residents on the project, he said.
Outlining the work, he informed the audience that they will be installing eight rectangular, concrete culverts four feet in diameter and seven feet wide. This will allow the water to flow on both sides of the creek. Wingwalls and headwalls will also be constructed. Since many residents use this thoroughfare daily there will be two temporary bypass roads built with guard rails. Waugh said that they need not to worry because once the causeway is completed the temporary roads will be removed.
As of today, his company is now in discussions concerning lighting in the area and therefore they are now in talks with the Bahamas Power and Light to place four light poles in that area. Also there will be other safety measures in place including neon lights, signs and also speed bumps to alert drivers that construction lies ahead.
They are waiting for approval from Local Government.
As of this writing, the Waugh Construction has a mobilized team, out of Freeport, in the area making preparations and necessary checks.
The project will take about 22 weeks to complete, according to Waugh Construction.
North Abaco Member of Parliament, Renardo Curry, addressed matters concerning the construction.
He informed residents that due to the cost of constructing a proper bridge, along with other costs including the North Abaco Port, the government cannot afford to build a traditional bridge as many hoped for. Authorities agreed to build a causeway which will allow water flow on both sides of the creek. He apologized and indicated that this causeway is in the best interest of the residents.
He expounded that the project will create construction job opportunities, which he hopes many will pursue.