Emmanuel: Much more investment needs to be done

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PHILIPSBURG – In last Wednesday’s, February 1, Council of Ministers Press briefing, Minister responsible for VROMI Christophe Emmanuel gave an update on the road works presently taking place around the island.

He said first that St. Peters Road is open. “Obviously they were still busy with the sidewalk and the bricks and grid and uplifting the whole infrastructure by that area. And I must say that they did live up to the time frame when they told me one week, and I gave them a month or so. Within that month the road has been completed.” He emphasized that there were still some houses that needed to be connected to the network and other minor issues, but the road was open to all.

He commended, “Kurt Ruan, the designer with the contractor was out and about on the road. The whole thing was to make sure that it was done in a good manner. People of St. Peters and residents can be pleased and relieved right now.”

He said this work will “get under control running water, the grey water and the sewage water that runs on the road and that many households are facing. It is an ongoing process.”

“We are working on it but there’s much more investment that needs to be done,” he continued.  He mentioned resurfacing work done on Mt William Hill. “We knew that a number of potholes also was down there and I think that Toontje Buncamper did an excellent job in our discussions, and I told him I have a problem with patching of roads… What you’re seeing right now is a more longer distance of the road being resurfaced, which I think would last much longer, and also would be at ease on the budget.”

About Coralita Road, the Minister mentioned that he’d received a number of calls about the bumps (sleeping policemen) being too high, after the road was resurfaced. “The whole road now is resurfaced, and lines will be put in, and the reason for the bumps is that over time before the bumps were too low. With a constant traffic flow it sort of wear down after a while, so the bumps became very, very low. It’s not too high. It’s as the road has been resurfaced, and the bumps have been put in the proper manner of the proper height that they are supposed to be,” Emmanuel stated.

In addition, Minister Emmanuel updated on moving the pedestrian crossing from the roundabout coming from Pointe Blanche as, “the pedestrian crossing that it have right there when you come from around the roundabout, you have to make an abrupt stop. If someone wants to cross a road, because the zebra part is right there…you’re coming at a certain speed because you have cars behind you coming at a certain speed around or on the bottom, and to make an abrupt stop right here is sort of an inconvenience for many of the drivers. We’ll have to look at the traffic laws and rules and see how that would work out.”

On the situation at Weymouth Hill on Milton Drive, “we spoke to the parties responsible for it is a private road. However, it’s a very dangerous situation, a condition that it is in, and I know the advice was brought up to the Ministry to be signed off,” the Minister continued.

He asked residents to “have some patience when they see the road work is going on, and minimize the speed.”

He stated that Public Works and Windward Roads were also analyzing more areas. “I know there’s a lot more roads because the problem that we’re having also is that most of those roads that are in deplorable condition, they are in private locations. They are not government roads, so we will have to come to some agreement with the residents where we can come to a partnership and see how we can tackle that situation,” Emmanuel said.

His Ministry is looking seriously at a link 2, and he mentioned the cleaning of trenches and of the Fresh Pond were also on the agenda.

Lastly, he said housing “is a major concern and we’ll be having a discussion with the Housing Foundation very soon to see how we can move forward or what direction we are going to take with a number of projects.”

He said he really appreciated the work that the departments were doing, and warned residents to “be vigilant on the road because again it’s all in the best interest.”