BVI News

19 miles of road to be rebuilt

Infrastructural works being undertaken in the Road Town area of Tortola.

While stating that a significant portion of the recovery funds will be pumped into infrastructural development, Chairman of the Disaster Recovery Coordination Committee, Brodrick Penn said several miles of roads will be rebuilt across the British Virgin Islands.

Road infrastructure took a massive blow when the hurricanes smashed into the territory last September.

“We are anticipating that we are going to have to rebuild around 19 miles of roads,” Penn said during a public consultation about government’s proposed recovery plan this morning.

Work has already started on the territory’s thoroughfares.

Penn in the meantime said “beyond the roads, [work is also to be done] on the drains, the ghuts, the retaining walls, the fences, etcetera.”

He also noted that sewage and water plants will be ‘upgraded’.

According to the proposed recovery plan, roughly $216 million will be pumped into infrastructural development and repairs.

The territory’s roadwork will get the largest bite of infrastructure allocation – $56.3 million.

The electrical network is expected to receive $48.6 million, while the water distribution network and government office repairs will each receive $32.6 million.

Sixteen million dollars will be pumped into the territory’s seaports.

Chart detailing infrastructural allocation in the proposed recovery plan.

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  1. Reply says:

    “We are anticipating that we are going to have to rebuild around 19 miles of roads”


    We are anticipating that we are going to have to patch up and fill the potholes for about 19 miles of roads, the same as in the past.

    I am rarely a naysayer, but unfortunately, it is highly unlikely that 19 miles of road will be repaired to last or withstand the next heavy rain fall.

    We have been down this road before. I hope I am wrong, but I am not holding my breath as I will surely suffocate and die before good quality roads are built in the BVI to withstand the increasing traffic and rainfall.

    • BVI Culture says:

      It is more important that we hand out the road contracts to local contractors than it is too have the roads built properly. If they make a mess, we can just give them another contract to repair it. The gift that keeps giving.

      • True...but! says:

        BVIslanders support it for the most part so they get what they deserve. The UK should send a reputable company to overhaul the entire road infrastructure. Of course local labor, equipment etc. can be used but it needs to be done by people who have a track record of doing these things properly We borrowed 16mil from SSB about 2yrs ago for roads and only a few stood up.

    • Albion says:


      Just once I would like to see one properly build road in BVI which can last more than one year.

      That brand new road built coming out of Sea Cow’s bay toward town? Less than one year and already it has deep potholes in it.

      • Quiet Storm says:

        @Albion, hope you are not holding your breath expecting a BVI road to last longer than a year. The short life requires taxpayers to cough up millions too frequently to build roads, crowding out other projects from getting done. The approach drives up the already high cost of governing. The poor road quality frustrate motorists and kills the driving experience. Poor road quality is the norm, not the exception. Poor roads is an expectation. The BVI needs to bench mark roads in other hilly terrain countries. No need to reinvent the wheel.

  2. Bystander says:

    Can it be done properly this time please by a contractor that knows what he is doing? It’s amazing looking at the last lot of road stretches done 2 or 3 years ago; some are perfect even after the storms and all this rain; and some are a disgrace. Give the new work to the contractor that did the roads that have held up.

  3. Gate keeper says:

    I know that this road needs to be outsource to an experience road contractor with design and build capabilities so we can grantee these road only needs minor repairs for the next 16 years or more. Pwd only need to stand by look and takes notes on how it’s done now that I’ve said go head and talk this value for money

  4. Talky says:

    Sir, when you do those roads, dig trenches and bury the cables, please.
    Otherwise you never will.

  5. ??? says:

    19 miles? Yeah right. I think they mean 1.9 miles.

  6. Really? says:


  7. Eagle eye says:

    The road by Althea Scatlife school and digi cell strech should have gotten attention long time.NDP yuh slooowwww

  8. E.Leonard says:

    What does rebuilt roads mean? On a visit home last October, my observation of the road condition was that they are severely damaged, deteriorated and in a failed state. There is only one fix for a failed road; it needs to be fully reconstructed. Reconstruction does not mean sealing coating or overlaying; these are periodic, low cost preventative maintenance action. Reconstruction entails 1)removing the surface course, 2)base course, 3)subbase course, 4)base course and 5)subgrade and replacing.

    The roads should be designed for a certain design life, ie, 10, 15, or 20 years. Since local roads are multi-use roads, they should be designed for the largest equipment that will use the roads. The largest equipment will dictate the minimum thickness of the various courses. Strong inspections must be in place to ensure that roads are constructed per the designed plans and specifications. Drainage?

    A major cause of premature road failures is poor drainage. Particularly roads should be designed, constructed and maintained to avoid ponding. Poor drainage accelerates road deterioration. Runoff should occur from the crown of the road to side ditches or inlets for further conveyance out to sea or ponds……….etc. In some instances, roads may need to be elevated to attain proper drainage.

    Finally, a well designed and constructed road will not meet its design lifecycle if it is not properly maintained. $56M should produced 19 miles of high quality, serviceable, and long lasting roads.

    • Diaspora says:

      @E. Leonard, you are expecting a road in the BVI to have a lifecycle of say 10, 15 or even 20 years. Not going to happen until there is a mark change in the approach of planning, designing, constructing, inspecting and maintaining. roads. We just wasted $16M borrowed from Social Security to reconstruct roads and what did we for it. Nada. The roads already mash up and taxpayers are still paying back the loan (I think). Poor drainage is like taking a wrecking bar to our roads. It causes a much shorten life. Using people who do not know pulley from fowl in relations to roads to construct, maintain……etc roads is a waste of resources. What are getting 1-2 years when we should be getting 10-20 years. Show me a well constructed and maintained road in the BVI. If one is found, I may eat my shoes.

  9. Realto says:

    The piece by the PUB is heading back to the gully state as we speak. It was repaired six weeks ago.

  10. Easter Bunny says:

    The Lee road on VG supposed to be done last Easter, looks like the rabbit in for another bumpy ride this year, what’s that one mile long?

  11. Socrates says:

    Prior to Hurricane Irma and Maria roads in the BVI were poorly designed, constructed, maintained and in a poor condition. The passage of Hurricanes Irma and Maria has exacerbated the damages and poor condition. Now $56M is being identified in the Recovery Plan for repairing the road network, including pavement construction, ghuts and drain repair, and repair of reataining walls and fences.

    $56M is a lot of cheese to repair 19 miles of road. With a $56M budget, what is the average cost per linear mile? $2.94M per mile. Is this cost reasonable? What is the typical cost per per mile for rural roads in other locales? In the US, the average cost per mile for construction in rural areas averages approx $1M per mile. The cost per mile on hilly terrain is more than on stable, flat terrain so the cost per mile in the BVI will cost more than $1M per mile. Nonetheless, it should not cost approx $3M per mile. The BVI should be able to put in place much more than 19 miles of road for $56M. How many miles of road are in the road network inventory?

    How much of the $56M is earmarked for Anegada, Virgin Gorda, Jost Van Dyke and other Islands? Will the $56M investment spread over the 5 year period? Will government procure/contract with experienced road construction companies to rehabilitate the road network? Who will be managing the road network funding, VI or UK? What is the payback period for the loan to construct the roads? Will the roads deteriorate before the loan is paid off? Will taxpayers will be making payments long after the roads have deteriorated?

    • To Socrates says:

      “Will the roads deteriorate before the loan is paid off? Will taxpayers will be making payments long after the roads have deteriorated?”

      Most likely.

  12. Goodness sake says:

    Please please please give the contracts to experienced people. We need experienced people to assist in these repairs. The damage is on a different level and we cannot just do patch work for it.

  13. BitterPill says:

    The BVI could have become a greater success than St Martin, Caymans and the rest if foreign investment had been welcome from the beginning. As it happens, Bvislanders who are sick with greed and intent on owning everything have destroyed every opportunity to develope the islands and continue to drain public finances to fund their lavish lifestyles. Buzzard decisions are made that are then pushed in our faces as something to celebrate. Case in point; the island has been decimated by a hurricane and the government use what little money there is to purchase new trees for the beach, they then push it out to the press as a great achievement and benefit to the island. Second case in point; while locals struggle to feed their kids and survive hot summer nights with no power, government go and spend almost 100K on a new SUV for the premier then push the story out to the press as a great achievement and benefit to the islands. Ask the tourist board how much it costs to purchase and maintain their properties in London and Hong Kong, and what do they actually do there living on public funds trying to rub shoulders with high society? Let’s see what happens when government spunk the hundreds of millions in aid loans and bonds. We’ll all be asking each other, “Where did all that money go?” Hopefully the FCO are keeping a close eye on all of this.

    • Diaspora says:

      @Bitter Pill, “Second case in point; while locals struggle to feed their kids and survive hot summer nights with no power, government go and spend almost 100K on a new SUV for the premier then push the story out to the press as a great achievement and benefit to the islands.“ Think the Cadillac Escalade was purchase before Irma hit.. Just saying.

      Does the Premier need a Cadillac Escalade? That is another tory. Humility is not hallmark of this government. Will the Premier’s performance and that of government improve because he is rocking a Caddy. No. Performance would be the same or better in lower cost vehicle.

  14. Seasalt says:

    Dear Ministers,

    Please acknowledge what the people have said. Almost if not all comments before this one has call on you all to bring people with the know how capacity to build the roads to get value for money. With that you also get some years warranty on works done.

    Remember that you are the people’s servant and they are your employers. So when they call on you in the majority to do something please comply or you will pay for it severely the next time you call on your bosses to employ you.

    A Voter

  15. Watcher says:

    It appears they propose to spend $3 million per mile on the new roads. For that you should get first class , properly constructed , properly drained roads that should last 20 years.
    And you should get regularly spaced service cross road tunnels and side tunnels to carry wires and pipes so that utilities dont dig the new roads up up everytime they want to connect to a new site

    Lets think.

    Lets do it right.

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