Esterley Tibbetts work delayed

The work to finish the Esterley Tibbetts highway extension has been delayed due to a problem with one of the contractors.

Minister of Infrastructure Arden McLean acknowledged the delay at the Cabinet press briefing last week.

‘I should apologize to the country for [the delay],’ he said. ‘We did have some hold ups.’

Although the road opened to traffic last September, it only has a temporary spray and chip surface. There is currently a 25-mph speed limit and time restriction for using the road until it is properly paved and lighted.

Before the road can be paved, all of the kerbing also has to be installed.

Mr. McLean said there has been a problem with the kerbing contractor, who had to be terminated from the job.

‘[The contract] wasn’t being fulfilled the way it was executed.’

Mr. McLean said the problem was that the contractor did not have the right equipment for the job and was having trouble getting the right consistency of concrete for the kerbing.

As a result, the contract for the kerbing has been sent back out to tender, Mr. McLean said.

‘When it has to go back out to tender, it’s a long drawn out thing.

Mr. McLean was hesitant to give a new completion date for the paving, but said he hoped it would only be pushed back one month to mid-February.

Not all of the Esterley Tibbetts Highway can be paved initially. One section of road where the National Roads Authority used a geotextile liner to cover over a deep area of swamp before laying the road will require further time to settle before it can be paved.