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Vanterpool ‘very pleased’ with controversial spending on Georgie Hill Road

BVI News Online - Thursday, July 25th, 2013 at 9:30 AM

VANTERPOOL: “I, as minister, want to make it very clear that I am very pleased with the road; very pleased with its progress and very pleased that the government and that the people of the Virgin Islands have received value for money on this project.” 

The National Democratic Party (NDP) administration has defended the cost over-run on the Georgie Hill Road in East End, Tortola, saying the additional funds were required to provide residents with a top quality roadway.

Under the previous Virgin Islands Party (VIP) government, rehabilitation works on Georgie Hill Road were estimated to cost roughly $300,000.

The NDP, which was returned to government in 2011, increased the initial estimate to just over $1 million ($1,146,457.67).

The increase has resulted in the government being flaked particularly by the now Opposition VIP.

During a press briefing this week, Works Minister Mark Vanterpool however defended the increased cost, saying the administration is very pleased with the Georgie Hill project.

“There has been much talk about this road in terms of the cost and I, as minister, want to make it very clear that I am very pleased with the road; very pleased with its progress and very pleased that the government and that the people of the Virgin Islands have received value for money on this project,” he said.

Vanterpool continued: “The cost of the project moving from what was suggested before; $300,000 to about 1 something million dollars, I am very comfortable. And cabinet, having approved it, we are very comfortable that it is a project that needed that sort of investment to ensure that it was a road that can last for a long time (and) be aesthetically pleasing…”

The minister further stated that he has no problem with the fact that the previous VIP administration had budgeted $300,000 for the Georgie Hill Road project.

He said, upon assuming office, he felt that the project should have been done in a much better way that would have placed it in line with what the government intends to do with major roads across the territory.

Vanterpool attributed much of the spending to the steepness of the roadway.

“I instructed the Public Works Department and our major special projects team to design a wider road than I met designed there – and the issue of the steepness of the road is where most of the cost has occurred,” he said.

“We felt that the road is much too steep and unsafe, and therefore we had to lift a major part of the road in excess of 500 feet of it – we have to life it by about 7 or 8 feet.”

In relation to the scope of project, Premier Dr. D. Orlando Smith had told the House of Assembly that it was expanded from 18 feet to 20 feet, with the addition of sidewalks and underground drainage.

Vanterpool, in the meantime, said the Georgie Hill Road is to undergo further improvement works.

He said the works will “continue to the bottom section through Greenland, primarily by widening the road and repaving it to the Blackburn Highway in the vicinity of the Long Swamp Bridge”.

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  1. Really Interesting
    July 26, 2013
    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

    One million dollar road, but a sewerage infested asphalt road leads up to it. I wonder if they cant see or smell the pothole with the raw sewerage. Rubbish. I hope by the time they are finished the residents of Greenland can drive and most especially walk there with a free mind and immune system. Maybe there are no voters in Greenland.

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  2. rat mineing cheese
    July 26, 2013
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    somebody theifing that money

    Reply to this comment
  3. ooooo
    July 26, 2013
    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

    maybe some people done got their cut plus the paved road to the hotel and by the way, the same road he’s bragging on, done start to crack up already

    Reply to this comment
    July 25, 2013
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    I personally observed the work in progress on that road and for an additional $800,000 dollars, one would have expected that most if not all of the bends in the road would have been eliminated.It presently looks like a snake climbing a hill. But then it does have something in common with our politicians.

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  5. BuzzBvi
    July 25, 2013
    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 0

    Mark Vanterpool was reported as saying this

    “But I think that would go up when we deal with the drainage issue and probably leveling of the road. So it is probably going to be $300,000 or $350,000, that´s the number I would say roughly,” he stated.

    This was when he also said the road would be completed in July 2012. It is now July 2013.

    So Minister Vanterpool was not flaked by the VIP. It was his own administrations 300,000 to 350,000 estimate.

    Where did the missing $800,000 form NDP’s initial estimate go.? Into 8 days additional use of an excavator and the most expensive dirt in the world? At $8000 for the excavator that means $792,000 for the dirt to raise the road 8 feet.

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    • Missing Link
      July 25, 2013
      Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 1

      Is Mr Vanterpool an engineer? NO! PWD are the ones with those expertise. One word of advice for Mark is to shut his damn mouth when he doesn’t have proper information. He does this on every single project. He’s a banker and runs a supermarket, he shouldn’t be pulling estimates out his a$$$$$ for infrastructure projects. Wait until the experts provide figures before talking sht. That’s his biggest problem!!

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