VROMI Minister Provides Updates on Broken Culvert, Welgelegen Road

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Minister of VROMI Patrice Gumbs

 

PHILISPURG, Sint Maarten – Minister of VROMI Patrice Gumbs issued an update statement to the public regarding two ongoing roadworks situations: the status of running water on the Welgelegen Road in Cay Hill and the status of the broken culvert on the A.J.C. Brouwers Road, on the Cole Bay hill. Both situations have caused significant concern as the country approaches the peak of hurricane season.

“After requesting and receiving updated information from the Department Head of Infrastructure,” Minister Gumbs stated, “I can provide the public with a comprehensive update on both matters.”

When addressing the matter of the broken culvert on the A.J.C. Brouwers Road, which has been incorrectly called a “sinkhole” over these last few weeks, Minister Gumbs stated that upon further inspection, an easier, more immediate solution was found, prompting the Department of Infrastructure to write a new advice; this solution would reduce the time required to complete the project from months to days.

“Finding swift but cost-effective solutions remains a priority for my Ministry, and I’m grateful to the public for their patience as this was worked on,” Gumbs commented. “What we discovered after further investigation is that the broken culvert in question was not actually being used; instead of rebuilding it, it will be condemned, cleaned out and filled with concrete to give back structure to the road above. Then there will be a layer of asphalt placed to bring that spot back in uniformity with the rest of the road and return it to normalcy.”

Gumbs stated that the damaged culvert is a direct result of the lack of regular road maintenance and the importance of establishing the road fund to ensure quality infrastructure.

“It’s unfortunate that no real attempt has been made to look at long-lasting road maintenance but the result of this lack of attention, the damaged culvert, is what we see happening today,” Gumbs said.

Minister Gumbs also provided an update on the status of running water on the Welgelegen Road in Cay Hill, which has been a long-standing issue causing concern to residents.

“The water that has been running over the road is the result of a natural spring, which is an issue we see in many areas on the island,” Minister Gumbs explained. “Because of the new construction happening in that area, this spring water was redirected to the road, causing dangerous conditions for road users. In June 2024, the Department of Infrastructure signed a waiver giving the contractor permission to build a culvert under the road, which would then redirect the water from the construction site to the trench on the opposite side.”

The Minister confirmed that the Department of Infrastructure informed him that works related to the installation of this culvert by the developer started in early July and have since been completed.

“Water should no longer be running over the road from that construction site,” Minister Gumbs concluded. “I urge residents of Cay Hill to inform the Ministry if there are any further issues with water running on the road, via minvromi@sintmaartengov.org.”