Weston Promises To Fire Bahamas Hot Mix If Road Is Not Finish By December 2019

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Lennox Weston

The Minister of Works and Minister of State in the Ministry of Finance and Corporate Governance, Lennox Weston, says if Bahamas Hot Mix (BHM) does not complete major work on the two highways currently under construction by December 2019; they will be fired.

“We told them we’re going to fire them if they don’t finish the roads by December…once we have nice, clear, flat, smooth roads by December, we’re fine. If we don’t, they’re gone”, Weston said.

BHM had recently disclosured that the final phase of the extensive roadwork project on Friars Hill Road and the Sir George Walter Highway is expected to be completed by September 2020. The company explained that it expects that by June 2020, asphalt and paving on the Friars Hill Road would be finished, followed by paving of the Sir George Walter Highway by September 2020.

The Minister of Works explained that BHM was not fired before because the project was being financed by a grant from the British and firing them earlier could have resulted in losing $14 million dollars of grant money.

Weston believes BHM is deliberately delaying completion of the Road Rehabilitation Project, claiming “they came with the professional intent of using change of work orders for their own benefitable gain”.

BHM was awarded the contract for Friars Hill Road and the Sir George Walter Highway during the first quarter of 2017, with the expectation that work would be completed in less than two years.

BHM won the road bid for US $14,992,213.06 over competitors, Barbados’ CO Williams Construction Limited and Jamaica’s Surrey Paving and Aggregate Co Ltd. The roadwork was expected to begin on September 27th, 2017 and last for 20 months, according to the contract award information published by caribank.org – Caribbean Development Bank (CDB).

“It has been a disaster and they have set out to make it a disaster because some corporations seek to have adjustments in contracts for their benefit. It’s something they do deliberately and so our position is that Antiguans and Barbudans should have smooth access to Friars Hill Road and airport road by December,” Weston said.

Presently, BHM and the Government of Antigua and Barbuda are in arbitration over whether the company’s request for more time and money to complete the road rehabilitation project is justified, or whether, according to the Weston, the delays were BHM’s fault and therefore no remuneration would be required on the part of the government.

“They have passed their deadline. We are in dispute now, in arbitration, because of course they are providing some basis in terms of delays from APUA, they have some issues that they claim that we didn’t accept their design because they didn’t want to change the size of the drain and so on. Those are some technical matters that we are gonna have arbitration over, but the point is they sat still and left the road in the very rough, rough state for most of the contract period,” he said.

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8 COMMENTS

  1. Very good Mr Minister…… just make sure the government crosses all it’s “t’s” and dot all the “i’s”. Tax payers cannot afford to pay for more decisions that are made in a hurry only to find out there were other avenues that should have been taken that would benefit the citizenry.Hope these are not just words but ACTION on the governments part. Too many government projects in the country are overrun.

  2. Weston is at it again.Giving BHM a definitive deadline of December.Then if they are not in compliance of that date they would be fired.Let us see what happens then.Having flat,smooth roads seems to be the standard for Weston.Does that means the roads would have been finished then?Because I have seen many flat smooth roads.They were not built with proper drainage.They would flood when it rains.Potholes would then be created in those once flat smooth looking roads.I do believe there are companies in Antigua and Barbuda quite capable of doing both Highways.So why Bahamas Hot Mix?What happens to our Public Works Department.Are they not capable of Managing and or over seeing such projects.If not,promote young smart/bright Antiguans and Barbudans into those positions of leadership in Public Works.What do they do at the Ministry of Works? Sit on their backsides and draw monthly salaries without results.

    • Notes From A Native Son Of The Rock! “Oh Gad!” – Joanne Hillhouse! “Is Joke You Joking.” – Scorpion!

      Our thinking must not only be visionary, mission driven, strategic and embody Antigua and Barbuda collective values, but be “a revolutionary shift in thinking proposed as a constructural adjustment to black disorientation, dislocation, decenteredness, and lack of agency.” – Dr. Molefi Asante!

      To Bid on CDB Projects Antigua and Barbuda Companies must have the Technical Capacity and Experience with such Projects, have the Proper Capitalization and be able to acquire Performance, Labour and Material Bonds and Insurance for the Value of the Work, demonstrate social responsibility and diversity, capable of employing “Best Practices”, innovation and technology, be confident in their abilities, be risk takers, abandon the old-wives’ tales of “partnership is a leaky ship” and be collaborative to engage with not only other Antigua and Barbuda, but also CARICOM and other eligible CDB Shareholder Firms!

      Promoting “young smart/bright Antiguans and Barbudans into those positions of leadership in Public Works” without the competence and/or opportunities for training and growth is a sure recipe for disaster! We must build capacity with trained Antiguans and Barbudans who can be certified as Quantity Surveyors/Cost Consultants, Project Managers and or Construction Managers!

      “What is any greater than seeing the world through our eyes? What resonates more with people than
      understanding that we are central to our history, not someone else’s? If we can, in the process of materializing our consciousness, claim space as agents of progressive change, then we can change our condition and change the world. … we must intersect ideas with actions and actions with ideas on the basis of what is pejorative and ineffective and what is creative and transformative at the political, economic, (socio-cultural, technological, legal and ecological) levels.” – Asante!

  3. Mr. Weston, why are you giving the BHM another deadline, and why not send them packing and bring back the Cubans?? The Cubans worked around the clock and get things done. I am not seeing the BHM working at nights into the morning like what the Cubans had done. The BHM would get a lot done if they have two 12-hours shifts and work around the clock when there are less traffic on the road. They also need another crew to work the culverts and install small bridges at the turnoff. A lot of rain water normally flow out of hills at Carlisle unto the Airport Road and the grounds of the airstrips.

    • Notes From A Native Son Of The Rock! “ALL: God save your majesty! CADE: I thank you, good people: there shall be no money; all shall eat and drink on my score; and I will apparel them all in one livery, that they may agree like brothers and worship me their lord. DICK: The first thing we do, let’s kill all the lawyers. CADE: Nay, that I mean to do. Is not this a lamentable thing, that of the skin of an innocent lamb should be made parchment? that parchment, being scribbled o’er, should undo a man? Some say the bee stings: but I say, ’tis the bee’s wax; for I did but seal once to a thing, and I was never mine own man since. How now! who’s there?” – Shakespeare: Henry VI!

      JFII kindly directs you to comments made September 29 in its entirety, on Road Rehabilitation Project Expected To Be Completed By September 2020 dated September 27, 2019, without having seen or read the Contract Documents but based on traveling over the Work given decades of knowing and doing! Those comments are now buttressed by the Hon Minister: “they came with the professional intent of using change of work orders for their own benefitable gain”! Sadly there was no capacity to “make sure the government crosses all it’s “t’s” and dot all the “i’s”!”

      “JFII sees a huge Pay Day looming on the “Golden Mile, Isaac Royall and the American Sea Bees Legacy!” Pay UP Now or Forever Hold your Peace! Clearly the Legal Beagles did not vet the Uninitiated! … This mere voice in the wilderness will keep his powder dry on the Barbuda Airport P3 Project Lest We Remember VCBIA’s runway, taxiways and aprons southern nightmare!” and the previous government” election gimmick of road repairs and improvements!

      Many Projects have been unsuccessful because they have not met the standards of the specifications, have been over budgets and exceeded the contracted schedules! We must build capacity with trained Antiguans and Barbudans who are certified as Quantity Surveyors/Cost Consultants, Project Managers and or Construction Managers! Have Mercy Pon Us!

      “The cognitive and structural aspects of a paradigm are incomplete without the functional aspect. There is
      something more than knowing in the Afrocentric sense; there is also doing.” Dr. Molefi Asante!

    • Notes From A Native Son Of The Rock! “Mary Jane, Mary Jane She makes me feel alright She makes my heart sing And when I’m feeling low She comes as no surprise.” – Rick James: Mary Jane!

      Mary-Jane, kindly revisit JFII’s comments made September 29 in its entirety, on Road Rehabilitation Project Expected To Be Completed By September 2020 dated September 27, 2019!

      This Project is funded by the British Government and the Procurement and Funding are being managed through the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB)! The United Kingdom is a NON-REGIONAL NON-BORROWING SHAREHOLDERS with 9.31% share! Cuba is neither a REGIONAL BORROWING SHAREHOLDER or a REGIONAL NON-BORROWING SHAREHOLDER or a NON-REGIONAL NON-BORROWING SHAREHOLDER! Hence Cuban firms and or individuals are not from CDB’s member countries, and any other countries, which are indicated as eligible in the Financing Agreement (an Eligible Country), to be awarded contracts under projects financed by CDB!

      In as much as you would like to see operations 24/7 with various disciplines effecting the Work, Public Works – The Owner – is not responsible for the Means or Methods of the Contractor! Should The Minister of Works wish to entertain your suggestions, it is expected that He would provide additional compensation to BHM, unless the company, out of the goodness of its heart (remember Corporations are persons) would do so. the Minister is under no such illusion since he has now crossed The Devil’s Bridge and seen the depths of the Deep Blue Atlantic off the Lucayan Archipelago as the band of spades “came with the professional intent of using change of work orders for their own benefitable gain”!

      “My scheming game, born of the Bridge, was no different. I awoke filled with a cruel plan to assemble a band of Spades who would head the other way (To the Barbuda Airport) – to rob the hamlet dwellers’ fortunes in the countryside: a selection of Clubs with dazzling masquerading skills and truly heartless masks were needed to complete this task and cruel mission.” Antigua’s Edgar O. Lake: The Devil’s Bridge!

  4. forcing them to finish by the end of December is impossible. look at the state the roads are in. if they get it smooth surfaced, then it is rushed and a bad job.. the road will be bad again in no time. The Brits funded the project? they should have sent the workers and the equipment as well. Sacking them now makes no sense.

  5. Was any of that $14 million to go to improving any roads in Barbuda?..or have been baited out yet again to feed the fat cat?.

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