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Minister Desmond Bannister inspects the work being done at Stink Pond section of the SC Bootle Highway. Left to right: Hon. Desmond Bannister, MP James Albury (behind), Kino Simmons, Admin. Maxine Duncombe, Under Secretary from The Office of The Prime Minister Montez Williams and PS Antoinette Thompson (behind.)

Minister Updates Stink Pond Road and Elbow Cay Dune Repairs

During an official signing ceremony for $4.5 million roadworks on Ernest Dean Highway, Minister of Works Desmond Bannister took time to update the progress of the culverts at Stink Pond on SC Bootle Highway and the status of future work on the Dune Road on Elbow Cay.

Mr. Bannister noted that the Ministry of Public Works annually spends over 20 million dollars in Family Island Roadworks and the lion’s share of those funds will be invested in Abaco this year.

He said there are a variety of challenges to the government in addressing the myriad needs for upgrades and repairs to vital infrastructure in each island they face due to the archipelagic nature of The Bahamas.

Updating the progress, he noted Bill Simmons Construction has recently completed paving of a number of projects here in Abaco and is currently working on the installation of culverts and reconstruction of SC Bootle Highway in the area of Stink Pond.

He said the work on the area of Stink Pond will achieve two goals: “it will restore flow between the waterways cut off by the highway and it will address the subsidence of the road that occurs due to continuous cycles of flooding.”

He said that the work is progressing on schedule for completion by July of 2019, and “once this job is finished, water flow should be restored to its natural state, which is good for the ecosystem and the environment.

“Once that happens, the stink pond will be gone, so I want to give you notice that you will have to rename that pond,” he added.

Dune Road, Elbow Cay

Mr. Bannister said that when he visited Abaco last year MP James Albury took him to Elbow Cay to see the severe land erosion at the dune site and highlighted the risk that the road could be destroyed in a storm, cutting of access to Hope Town, “and we cannot let that happen.”

“You will be pleased to know that Tenders for the protection of the shoreline, the reconstruction of the dune and the repaving of the road were received on February 19, just a few days ago. The bids are currently being analyzed by my technical officers,” he announced.

The scope of works will include:

• General excavation of beach sand and grass material, stockpiling some and disposing of unsuitable material

• Construction of a revetment and a retaining wall. For clarification, revetments in coastal management are sloping structures placed on banks, dunes or cliffs in such a way as to absorb the energy of incoming water.

• Excavating a trench in rock for the toe of revetment.

• Supply, backfilling, compacting and grading of filled material behind revetment

• Supply, backfilling, compacting and grading of filled material behind concrete wall

• Beach sand fill and grading from stockpiled excavated existing beach sand, placing and grading sand over the revetment

• Importing additional beach sand if required

• Supply and placement of non-woven geotextile fabric filter and of filter stone

• Supply and placement of armour stone

• Installation of Limerock base material below road pavement, 6” compacted thickness”

• Laying 2” thick Bituminous double seal road pavement

• Installation of an Insitsu concrete Class A retaining wall

• Installation of a Galvanized Steel Railing to top of wall

• Vegetation for sand dunes including stockpile of grass material and supply and placement of new plant material

Mr. Bannister said that when that job is completed “I think that you will all be quite pleased at the coastal protection that will be provided to Elbow Cay, and to Hope Town.”

“So as soon as Cabinet approves the winning tender, I will have an excuse to return to beautiful Abaco to sign that contract,” he added.

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