BVI News

8th District has worst roads in the BVI — Penn

Marlon Penn

Representative of the Eighth Electoral District, Marlon Penn has lamented that bad roads are affecting his constituency.

“Right now we have essentially the worst roads in the territory,” Penn said.

The Eighth District comprises well-populated areas such as East End/Long Look; the main route through which to traverse to get to and from the Terrence B Lettsome International Airport on Beef Island.

While speaking at a public meeting in his constituency this week, Penn called for better and more sustainable roads.

He lamented the virtually poor manner in which road infrastructure are built in the territory; especially on Tortola.

“There has to be a plan for us to re-engineer and redevelop the roads in a structural way. Not for us to be redeveloping the roads every five [or] six years.”

“I think we will hear from the [Works] Minister (Mark Vanterpool) of the plan for redevelopment,” Penn said.

Residents and motorists have expressed strong dissatisfaction not only for the condition of the roads but also the heavy dust nuisance associated with those bumpy thoroughfares.

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  1. Resident says:

    If the roads are bad who to blame? How may years has he been the representative again? SMH.

    • Seer says:

      Same thing I’m here wondering. The problem with these District Representatives, especially the NDP set is that they are now acting as if they aren’t a part of the ruling government. The so-called “Back Benchers” have sat in silence and for what, the respect of their peers? They are now realising time is catching up, and the people who they represent are sick and tired . So now, everyone suddenly found their tongue and conscience. THEY ALL NEED TO BE FIRED.

    • Worker Bee says:

      Strange. don’t you think, that roads in the 4th District have been repaved? They were bad, all the roads are bad, but not as bad as East End.

  2. Albion says:

    He’s right about both things: the roads in East End are an absolute disgrace (and the first part of Tortola that any tourist visitors landing at EIS will see). And Government needs to come up with a strategic plan for structural road improvement instead of just slapping a little blacktop into the potholes and waiting until it washes away in the next rain.

  3. KAWASAKI KZ1000 says:

    Every district in the VI has bad roads

  4. guest says:

    thank you for speaking about the road problems in east end/long look

  5. Diplomat says:

    The transportation modes of getting people in and out of the territory is through airlift and sealift. The gateway into the territory from the airlift mode is horrific. The roads from the Terrance B. International Airport through East End, Major Bay, Long Swamp, Fat Hogs Bay , Long Look…….etc are in a horrible deteriorated condition. It provides a poor first impression for visitors; first impression last a long time.

    Time is up for blaming Hurricane Irma for the horrible road condition; they were horrible before the storm. $M wasted on so called road reconstruction. Now, $M done, no roads and principal and interest must be paid back. The only people that benefits from road construction is the inexperience contractors. The BVI must have the shortest road lifecycle in the region.

    The Hon Penn is on point. 4-6 six years of road life is inefficient and a poor return on investment, especially when other locales get between 10-15 years of road life. The frequent road construction crowds out other critical needs. A better and more effective and efficient road management programme is needed.

  6. John says:

    Last time I check this man a part of the same government responsible to fix roads. these reps talk talk talk for the whole time in office. Time to get rid of the entire ndp administration. They are all a part of the country’s problem.

  7. SIR whatever says:


  8. E. Leonard says:

    Roads design, construction, inspection, and maintenance is expensive; it cost even more when it is poorly designed, constructed, inspected and maintained. Assuming that they are properly designed (including proper drainage), constructed and inspected, low cost preventative maintenance is critical for good rideability, reducing accidents, reducing vehicle operating costs, extending road life, reducing on operating costs, slowing deterioration…………etc.

    Poor road maintenance is equivalent to disinvestment, sacrificing the initial investment in road construction. The cost of rehabilitating, restoring and reconstructing poorly maintained roads is typically more than the maintenance cost would have been. How long should roads last?

    Roads in developed countries typically have a designed life of approx 15-30 years with timely maintenance and repair. OK. BVI roads may not last 15 years before reconstruction but they surely can be properly designed, constructed and maintained to last more than 6 years. Techniques, procedures, processes, programmes …….etc exist to construct properly functioning roads. These factors need to be adopted/adapted to attain better roads. Further, a major contributing cause for premature road failure is poor drainage. Without proper drainage, road construction is a poor investment and not good stewardship of taxpayers $$$$.

    Moreover, proper road construction should be for the use and benefit of both residents and visitors. However, tourism is 1/2 of the economic twin pillars, providing direct, indirect and induce benefits for workers and businesses. Consequently, road infrastructure is vital for tourism and needs proper investment and attention. The deteriorated road conditions in East End and Long Look speaks for itself.

  9. UK is the answer says:

    To years of incompetence in building the roads. It is clear that the Government is not capable of building infrastructure which lasts.

  10. Worker Bee says:

    Call a general election! The roads will be repaired quickly enough then.

  11. Resident says:

    They have one resident flooding the road in the 7th district and no one is doing anything about it he himself have to drive on that muddy highway and the running pipe can be seen by everyone passing yet no one bothers about it.

  12. Hmm says:

    Maybe if he was thinking up of a plan when he was abstaining…his district would be further along.

  13. Joe says:

    they don’t no a thing about road y we vote for ndp y

  14. Say It As It Is says:

    We need engineers or should I say Foreign engineers/company with experience in building roads to deal with our road reconstruction otherwise we will be having this discussion in 3 years.
    Face the fact! Our local boys have never constructed roads before. Driveways yes. But not “Highways”
    No harm in learning from a foreign company and when they leave we can take it from there.

    • Quiet Storm says:

      Engineering principles are the same the world over, ie, BVI, Timbuktu……….etc. True, road building experience comes with theory and practical hands on experience. In the BVI, the opportunity for road building experience is severely limited. Government has the greatest demand for road services but lacks the equipment, machinery and trained/experience staff to efficiently, effectively and economically perform it.

      Instead, it has to contract with inexperienced contractors for services. The public is ill-served with this practice; it cost too much and the public gets poor service and low return on investment. What is the way forward?

      In the interim, Public Works needs to contract with experienced road builders to construct and maintain the roads. For the longer term, it needs to increase staff, including support personnel , train staff, procure and properly maintain equipment………etc. Additionally, local contractors that are interested in performing road work should get the requisite training, experience………etc.

  15. Anonymous says:

    Local boys do have experience in building roads

  16. facts says:

    east end road is blows

  17. East end says:

    East end road is blows because they allowing residents there to flood the road. Waste of water those persons maybe do not have a water meter thats why they allow their water from their pipe to run all day like that

  18. Retired says:

    Road surfaces and engineering in the BVI have always been poor and inadequate. Maybe it’s time to start more small ferry/water taxi services on Tortola and leave the roads for the big trucks and dirt bikes. The sea gets rough occasionally but Drake’s Channel is fairly well protected from the open ocean seas. I see lots of undamaged go-fast motor boats sitting on trailers all over Tortola so there is no shortage of boats to move people around/between the Virgin Islands

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