FREEPORT, Grand Bahama — Minister of State with responsibility for Grand Bahama, Senator Kwasi Thompson recently toured the ongoing work at the Fishing Hole Road bridge.
Accompanied by Parliamentary Secretary in the Ministry of Works, Iram Lewis, and officials from the Ministry of Works, Minister Thompson got a firsthand view of the progress of the bridge, which is being constructed by All Bahamas Construction Company Limited (ABC).
The tour of the work was led by All Bahamas Construction Company Project Manager Wolfgang Geiger. Senator Thompson toured the buildings that will be the new Cultural Village; they toured the boat ramp and then moved to where the base of the bridge has been constructed.
“We are satisfied with the progress that has been made on this bridge and we are working with the contractor to ensure that the project is completed in the shortest period of time,” he said.
Senator Thompson urged members of the public to remember that the area surrounding the Fishing Hole Road is a construction site and therefore must use caution. He noted that while touring the site he personally observed drivers passing at high speed.
“The Ministry of Works, as well as the Grand Bahama Port Authority held a series of meetings about the work taking place on the bridge, and safety concerns was one of the primary issues addressed at the meetings,” said Senator Thompson.
“There have been a number of additional measures that have been put in place to address those safety concerns. Residents will be aware of additional signage and caution cones put in place to remind members of the public that this is indeed a construction zone.”
Asked about the expected completion date of the project, he pointed out that once all of the concerns expressed by the contractor have been addressed, the date of completion could be early January 2018.
Parliamentary Secretary in the Ministry of Works Iram Lewis noted that from the Ministry’s point of view, he wanted to ensure that all of the technical aspects of the project were being carried out effectively.
“Working along with the Grand Bahama Port Authority’s technical department and the City of Freeport, we are satisfied that all of those technical requirements have been met,” said Mr. Lewis. “We are here on a regular basis carrying out inspections to ensure that all safety measures are being taken.
“I am satisfied that at the end of the day we will have a good project that’s going to make a difference on this island.”
Contractor for the Project, Wolfgang Geiger said he was pleased to have the government officials visit the site and assured members of the public that his company was doing all it could to ensure that the new bridge was completed as quickly as possible.
The cost of the project is approximately $7 million dollars and Geiger is confident that they will stay on budget, even in the face of a few minor adjustments.
“The Cultural Village, which was the first stage of the Project, is completed and the bridge itself, we have completed all of the pre-cast elements for the bridge and so what we’re doing now is assembling those pieces to make a complete bridge,” said Mr. Geiger.
He said that the project presently has ten workers on site (because they’re in the assembly phase), but hopes to hire more as the project moves closer to completion.