Slow start to major construction in Tobago

Construction on hold at Comfort Inn & Suites, Shaw Park. - DAVID REID
Construction on hold at Comfort Inn & Suites, Shaw Park. - DAVID REID

There has been a slow start to the construction sector on the island, following the two-month national lockdown enforced by the Government on May 3 as a measure to curb the spread of covid19.

On a drive around the island, Newsday noticed that mainly the small projects had restarted as compared to the larger developments.

Hundreds of construction workers were scheduled to resume work on Monday at both public and private sector projects after being given the green light by Prime Minister last Saturday for the sector to resume operations along with hardware, supply stores and quarries.

Construction workers were also prioritised by the Division of Health, Wellness and Family Development for covid19 vaccines.

At the Comfort Inn Suites Hotel site in Shaw Park on Tuesday, work had not restarted.

The hotel was supposed to open in 2020 but its construction was affected by the pandemic.

A source, speaking on the condition of anonymity, told Newsday it was impossible for work to resume on Monday.

A truck driver levels his load before leaving Studley Park Quarry, Windward Road, on Tuesday. - DAVID REID

The source said materials were not stockpiled and they depended on shipments from Trinidad. A delivery was expected by Thursday.

The site of the under construction Bacolet Indoor Sporting Facility, which will cost taxpayers $30 million, was dormant on Wednesday.

There was also not much major activity on the $1.2 billion project to expand the ANR Robinson International Airport, which includes the construction of a new terminal, the expansion of the tarmac and a new car park. On Monday an excavator was seen clearing land near the Store Bay Local Road.

In an update on their Facebook page last Sunday, the National Infrastructure Development Company Ltd (Nidco) said China Railway Construction (Caribbean) Company Ltd is the contractor undertaking the design, construction and commissioning of the project and the duration is approximately two years.

An excavator at work on Monday on the airport expansion project at Store Bay Local Road, Crown Point. - DAVID REID

Nidco said the contractor will be involved in activities such as demolition, excavation, building construction, road works, drainage works, installation of services infrastructure, apron and taxiway.

It added that mitigation measures are being put into place to avert or manage the anticipated adverse impacts of the constriction.

Attempts to contact Nidco president Esther Farmer for an update on the project proved futile as all calls to her mobile went unanswered.

At Studley Park Quarry, work has resumed at full pace.

Secretary of Infrastructure, Quarries and Environment Kwesi Des Vignes told Newsday it was important to have the quarry up and running as it was the "life blood of the construction sector in Tobago."

He said all protocols are in place at the quarry, which employs approximately 60 workers.


"Slow start to major construction in Tobago"

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