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Contracts signed: FDL Consultants designing roads to last BVI up to 30 years

Government ministers sign $876,250 contract to design and develop permanent roads in BVI.

The 3.9 kilometres of roads, drains, and sea defence structures that St Lucia firm FDL Consultants have been contracted to design and engineer in the BVI are expected to last the next 25 to 30 years.

That is according to Director of Projects in the Projects Unit of the Ministry of Finance, Dr Drexel Glasgow.

He made the statement at the signing of an $876,250 contract between government and FDL Consultants on Thursday, February 21.

FDL now has 24 months to not only provide engineering and design services but also to provide construction supervision services for the territory’s restoration of roads, slopes, and coastal defences.

“Work will be carried out for the Blackburn Highway to the Ridge Road, Sir Francis Drakes Highway to Carrot Bay, Cane Garden Bay, Ballast Bay, Great Mountain, Lower Hope, Little Dix Bay, Long Trench, and Fish Bay,” Works Minister Mark Vanterpool said at the contract signing.

He noted that these areas are only a fraction of the overall roadworks that will be done in the next few years.

Premier Dr D Orlando Smith, one of the signators representing government, said the road designs to be implemented “will be adopted and incorporated as standards for future designs”.

Dr Smith said he was particularly pleased that works towards better, more permanent roads can now begin considering that “the public has exercised extreme patience with having to traverse on deteriorated and, in some cases, dangerous infrastructure”.

The soon-to-begin project is being done through the Recovery and Development Agency with funds ($65 million) that were borrowed from the Caribbean Development Bank after Hurricane Irma back in 2017.

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  1. Fact says:

    Around here contracts signed just means more snouts in the feeding trough. Bend over taxpayers!

    Like 18
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    • Anonymous says:

      Here’s the road design for free. Place 8” of shell rock. Roll and compact. Tack the shell rock and pave 2 lifts of asphalt each at 1 1/2”. This will last beyond 30 years. $876k? Really? Just for design. You buffoons don’t even stripe the roads properly and now you want to build them properly. Stop the bullshit. Just give the Premier a parting check for $500k and call it a day instead of this nonsense

      Like 6
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  2. HHMMMM says:

    I Have a Bridge………

  3. Okay then says:

    So that means they wouldn’t have to pave the roads every election time to take people for fools right

    Like 28
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  4. Whistleblower says:

    The timing of this raises eyebrows. Is this just another $1m contract to design something? What is the total project cost?

    Did Vanterpool do his due dilligence on this firm? Their website in St Lucia doesn’t even appear to be working.

    Why didn’t he bid this project out to global leaders in construction like Bechtel and Vinci? They would have designed and built it for a fixed cost to world class standards.

    Fool me once, shame on you.
    Fool me twice, shame on me.

    Like 26
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  5. TurtleDove says:

    Are they going to warranty that! I bet not. The key to lasting roads is maintenance… can’t let pot holes and water breached areas sit for ever. Fix them ASAP Give two men a truck and their only job is to find pot holes and fix them and report areas that need more attention.

    Like 15
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  6. Shame says:

    Desperate people do nonsense out of desperation. Poor we.

    Like 18
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  7. Blah says:

    Ever since St Lucia took the prisoners a lot of high end jobs in government seem to be running through St. Lucia. Was this a part of the deal ? It sure doesn’t seem like a coincident.

    Like 23
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    • Take it back says:

      Government needs to take back our Ports from that St. Lucian who has not made any significant improvements as far as I could see.

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  8. Accra says:

    The lower part of the road at Havers Estate needs fixing too… we have been neglected too long

  9. ??? says:

    Contracts left and right…coincidence!????

    Like 12
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  10. Me Again says:

    Can / Will some one ;THE MINISTER / DISTRIC REP. Please tell the people of Virgin Gorda when the LEE ROAD prohect will be completed
    This firm was responsible for the design and engineering on this project AND we see the drain system in NON FUNCTIONAL
    Who is responsible and how will they fix this problem AND when ?

    Like 13
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    • Wow says:

      Is this true? Vanterpool gave this firm more money after they did this to us? If so, the fiscal mismanagement continues.

      Let’s put an end to this at the polls next week.

      Vanterpool is a big part of the problem. He’s got to go. We deserve honesty and transparency from our elected representatives.

      This country is not his piggy bank!

      Like 17
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  11. Georgie says:

    If the Cabinet was resolved, why are projects being signed?

    Like 20
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  12. Say wha says:

    Wait. R u saying that this same firm that Vanterpool just gave a $1m of our dollars to hasn’t completed a project in Virgin Gorda or their work want reliable?

    We need an audit on this.

    Mr Vanterpool please explain your decision.

    Did you conduct due diligence or not? Were u aware that the firm you selected may not have performed well under previous contracts that you oversaw?

  13. Concerned says:

    3.9 km is a little more then 2 miles, so almost 1 million just for CONSULTANCY that does not include any gravel, cement, labour-cost. So if the drainage they designed in Virgin Gorda is not working why are they awarded another contract?

    Like 16
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  14. Cat says: Makes for not very interesting reading. Are we being scammed again?

    • @ Cat says:

      went in there and saw nothing. is this a joke? poor mankind.

      • Boi says:

        Did we get cheated again? No due diligence.

        This company’s website is broke. or has broken links to press releases about other contracts Vanterpool gave them including the one for Virgin Gorda.

        A real company would talk about the projects they have completed rather than those they have been awarded.

    • Rubber Duck says:

      They have no clue how to design a web site that’s for sure.

  15. Reality says:

    You mean the road repairs will cost multiple times more than they should as the specifications will be compromised as usual by the shoddy local contractors – as for lasting 25 years forget it! The contractors won’t build it properly, will substitute cheaper materials and the quality control will be non existent as usual….there won’t be as many brown envelopes and favors if the contract works lasted 25 years!and we all know how it works here sadly….

    Like 1
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  16. Popeye says:

    Why were they selected if they didn’t finish the last job they were hired for?

    Vanterpool, please tell us why before we vote.

    Like 9
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    • Olive says:

      Vanterpool be takin us as a fool.

      We needs an investigation into this matter. How can he get away with dis. What’s he goin to announce tomorow?

      Stop throwing away all my money. And give us back our plane!

      Like 4
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  17. Me again says:

    Notice my comments are being omitted

    Is this political or personal ?

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  18. Old says:

    We will do the road vip ndp must Go.

  19. Old says:

    Mark and Walwyn don’t need no vote they hand to sticky

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  20. AMIGO says:

    NDP plenty f..k around.

    Like 3
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  21. Political Obsever (PO) says:

    Issuing major construction contracts hours before a general election is not a good business/governing practice. It waddles like a duck, quacks like a duck and looks like a duck so it is a duck. It stinks to high heaven. It was wrong when VIP did it and it is wrong now that NDP is doing it. This poor governing practice can be corralled by setting a fix term for election. With a fix term for election, controls can be put in place that specifies that non-emergency major construction and other projects cannot be issued 90-120 days before an election, unless they are approved by 75% of the HOA. The current practice is an abuse of position and power; it stinks the place up.

    Moreover, was there a quid quo pro for St. Lucia housing 21 prisoners after hurricane Irma damaged Her Majesty Prison At Balsum Ghut, the lone prison in the territory? Is it a coincidence that recently St. Lucia appears to be the source of choice government services, ie, Port, Prison, fuel, consultants…..etc?

    Like 6
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  22. E. Leonard says:

    The community needs much more than 2-3 year lifecycle from their roads. It needs value for money. To get more than a 2-3 design lifecycle, requires proper design, construction and maintenance. Proper design without proper construction and timely maintenance leads to the same poor quality. Many of the BVI’s centerline miles of road are in a deteriorated/failed condition due to poor design, construction, maintenance, age…….etc. The proper fix for a failed road is reconstruction, ie, removing the surface course, base, and subbase( if applicable) down to the subgrade. The subgrade must be stabilized to effectively and safely distribute and dissipate the loading/stress from the above layers (surface, base, subbase).

    Unlike larger locales, the BVI has limited road classifications (local, collector, arterial……..etc). It has a mix-use road network that carries cars, light trucks, heavy trucks, solid waste vehicles, heavy construction equipment……..etc. As such, the roads should be designed with the minimum cross section (eg, 2-8-12} to safely carry the heaviest load using it. Another important factor in BVI road design is proper drainage. Poor drainage is a major contributing factor to premature road failure.

    Moreover, assuming that roads are properly designed and constructed, to get the 20-30 year design lifecycle, will require timely preventative maintenance, ie, crack sealing, pot hole repairing, seal coating, and overlaying. For example on a 30-year road, between the 1st and 7th year, some crack sealing may be required. Then on the 7th year, a seal coat is needed. On the 15th year, an overlay( milling the complete surface course and replacing) is needed. On the 22nd year, another seal coat is put down. Finally, on the 30th year, a total reconstruction is needed, ie, removing all the layers (surface course, subbase, base) down to the subgrade.

    Timely maintenance extends the road life, retards deterioration, improves serviceability (ride quality), reduces reconstruction cost, reduces operational cost and reduces vehicle(s) owner operating cost. Further, the consultant is tasked with the design, as well as inspection of the construction, so it should be offering a guarantee/warranty of its services, providing timely and proper maintenance is done.

    • NSCE says:

      What you are proposing is the theoretical and right course of action but it will be a costly and inconveniencing plan of action. Suggest a comprehensive pavement condition index (PCI) assessment to determine whether the roads need a seal coat, overlay or some modified fix below fully reconstruction.

  23. Diaspora says:

    FDL Consultants, a St. Lucia based consultant firm, is being paid $867,000 to design approximately 2.4 miles (3.9 km) of road. That is approximately $361,260.00 per mile. True, a few other things are thrown in: inspection, sea defence, drains….etc. It would be helpful if the total scope of the work was known. The work is strictly labour on typical routine work the specs for which is common place. Now with autocad and design technology, the design effort/work has been significantly reduced; drafting boards are almost a thing of the past. What unit is being used to price this work, ie, cost per hour for labour, percent of the construction cost(typical for architectural and engineering work)…..etc? Things may cost a list more in the VI but $867,000 for 2.4 miles of road is pricey.

    FDL Consultant is not designing any new routes(roads); it is designing a cross section for 2.4 miles of an existing road. Sure that FDL design is probably not getting rid of/improving of any of the dangerous vertical or horizontal curves. They are probably not redesigning the roads to replace the steep slopes with winding roads.

    The taxpayers funded the study of many local civil engineers. So why could none of these trained engineers used existing on file standards owned by government to design a 25-30 year asphalt or concrete cross section? The MCW has a staff with a doctorate in engineering. Why is it not using this expert to supervise some of this design in-house? The poor taxpayers are being robbed with their eyes wide open in day light. The government is a great customer to do business with. It is good for contractors, engineers……etc bottom line.

  24. Robin dahood says:

    Highway robbery.

    Vanterpool just ran away with $1m more of our money.

    Who owns FDL? Are they owned by a BVI corporation? Let’s investigate.

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