The Claude Noel Highway project is on schedule, says Tobago House of Assembly (THA) Secretary of Infrastructure, Quarries and the Environment (DIQE) Kwesi DesVignes.
He was addressing last Wednesday’s post-Executive Council media briefing at the Victor E Bruce Financial Complex in Scarborough.
DesVignes said,"Phase 1a and 1b...from Orange Hill traffic light to the Rockley Vale traffic light, which is two kilometres of this rehabilitation work – we’re currently 45 per cent complete."
In terms of work still to be done, DesVignes said everything will be completed by the projected date despite a short interruption last month.
“For the Easter and (Tobago) Jazz period, we expected a high density of visitors on the island, of course – increased traffic – and the last thing we would have wanted was unnecessary disruptions to the festivities during those two peak periods.”
He added: “The installation of the final layer of asphalt or hot-mix concrete is an item that can be done at an accelerated rate in any case, and therefore we are expected to complete this project well before the final contract date in July.”
He said so far, the removal of the cold asphalt, removal of the failed base course material, re-installation of structurally suitable base course materials in all areas except the portion from Wilson Road traffic lights to Darrel Spring walkover had been completed.
“The bind of course, which many of us are driving on now, is the first layer that we have put down, and that is 65 per cent complete. Of course, the final layer, the wearing course, as it’s called, would be installed in July of 2019,” he said.
“We have a bit of a more reliable infrastructure that we’re doing – this is not a simple repaving project, this is a rehabilitation project. We’ve gone all the way down to the very foundation of the highway and we are building back up in many places."
A "geogrid" is being installed, he said: "What we’re doing is ensuring that the asphalt itself can last for a longer period because there’ll be less shifting over time.”
At $35 million, the project is listed as a priority of the division and by extension, the assembly.
Rehabilitation work along the two-kilometre stretch of the highway started in February. After a tendering process completed by the project manager, the National Maintenance Training and Security Company (MTS), Seereram Brothers Ltd was awarded the contract.