Thursday, March 17, 2011

Government seeking to stop beach erosion at Smith Point and flooding of Fishing Hole Road

Works and Transport Minster the Hon. Neko C. Grant is pictured here along with Alex Lee of China Harbour Engineering Company as they walked the beach at Smith’s Point Left to right are Bradley Armbrister, administrator for East, Grand Bahama; Norman Tynes, Ministry of Works; Mr. Grant, and Mr. Lee. (BIS Photo /Simon Lewis)

FREEPORT, Grand Bahama – The Government of The Bahamas is seeking the support of the China Harbour Engineering Company Limited in finding a permanent solution to the vexing problem of beach erosion at Smith Point, Grand Bahama and the continued flooding problems at the Fishing Hole Road.

Minister of Works and Transport, the Hon. Neko C. Grant traveled to Grand Bahama Wednesday morning, accompanied by Alex Lee, marketing officer for CHEC, to view the scope of works needed at both sites.

Also accompanying Mr. Grant was an engineer from his Ministry based in New Providence as well as officials from the Ministry of Works on Grand Bahama.

Addressing the media Wednesday morning at Smith’s Point, home of the popular Fish Fry, Mr. Grant said that the Government’s Infrastructure Crusade involves seeking to better the life of Bahamians.

“We have received a number of complaints from the residents of Smith’s Point about the continuous erosion of the beach here, and so I have come this morning with Mr. Lee from the China Harbour Engineering Company (CHEC) for them to have a look at what we are challenged with, and for them to make some recommendations on the way forward, be it a sea wall, or some other mechanism that they as professionals deem necessary,“ he stated.

He reminded media personnel and local residents participating in the walkabout that only last week the Government of The Bahamas signed a Memorandum of Understanding with CHEC that would involve projects in Exuma, Abaco and Eleuthera. He said on those islands they would be looking at constructing ports, bridges and bypass roads.

FISHING HOLE ROAD – Minister for Works and Transport, the Hon. Neko C. Grant is pictured, right, along with Mrs. Verna Grant, Member of Parliament for the Eight Mile Rock Constituency; Alex Lee of China Harbour Engineering Company and Norman Tynes of the Ministry of Works as they view the scope of work needed at the Fishing Hole Road on Grand Bahama. (BIS Photo/Simon Lewis)Mr. Grant, who also serves as the Member of Parliament for the Lucaya Constituency added that when the company has completed their investigations, “they will make recommendations to us on the way forward, and the Government will have to make a decision on what it is going to do here at Smith’s Point,” he stated.

FISHING HOLE ROAD – Minister for Works and Transport, the Hon. Neko C. Grant is pictured, right, along with Mrs. Verna Grant, Member of Parliament for the Eight Mile Rock Constituency; Alex Lee of China Harbour Engineering Company and Norman Tynes of the Ministry of Works (BIS Photo/Simon Lewis)

Continuing he informed that they will also be doing an evaluation of the Fishing Hole Road which he said has caused many challenges for residents over the years, particularly during adverse weather conditions.

While the Minister could not give a startup date for the two projects he said that “we have to wait until the investigations are completed, but we seek to move expeditiously as the infrastructure crusade continues to march throughout The Bahamas.

The Works and Transport Minister was also pleased to inform that work to the sea walls at Williams and Russell Town and Sunset Village in Eight Mile Rock have been completed and that his Ministry is coming up with some creative designs to further enhance the two areas which has become a popular entertainment and food area for residents and visitors.

With respect to the Sunset Village which was destroyed by hurricanes a few years ago Minister Grant said that he has seem preliminary plans with which he was very impressed.

“I look forward to the final plans and sharing them with residents of Grand Bahama. We hope that Sunset Village could be transformed into a major tourist attraction, one that the people of Eight Mile Rock and indeed the people of Grand Bahama would be proud of,” he said.

Also, he said that a part of the upgrade to Sunset Village will be the construction of a pavilion with a band stand and proper bathroom facilities for the site, along with newly constructed booths that will be up to the health standards that we are expected of as a progressive country.

With respect to Williams and Russell Town he said that “we are very, very pleased at what has taken place there. You are aware that the sea wall is completed, we have a bathroom facility, paved the roads and we need now deal with the landscaping.”


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