Staniel Cay contract signed: $1.8M to Bahamas Hot Mix
Guardian Business Reporter
Published: Sep 03, 2015
Vital repairs and renovations for Staniel Cay’s airport will cost over $1.8 million. The cost reflects a widened scope of repairs on the island, nearly double initial government estimates, Minister of Transport and Aviation Glenys Hanna-Martin revealed yesterday.
Bahamas Hot Mix will carry out the remediation of the Exuma island’s air facilities, which is expected to take 12 weeks to complete after beginning last Monday. Although early estimates pegged the cost of the repairs at $1 million, on August 28 the government agreed to a $1,675,043.89 fee along with a contingency of $167,504.39 for a total contract price of $1,842,548.28.
“The Ministry of Works has now negotiated a scope of works with Bahamas Hot Mix based upon the ability of that company to immediately mobilize to Staniel Cay.
“The works to be undertaken include the scarifying of the existing runway and taxiway and apron, the paving of the runway and the creation of turning pads and the installation of new runway lights, runway markings and the installation of perimeter fencing,” stated Hanna-Martin in a correspondence with Guardian Business.
The details come roughly two weeks after frustrated residents and business owners wrote to various government ministries demanding an update on the repairs, arguing that the airport’s abrupt closure during the height of the spring season had caused a significant impact on the island’s tourism economy and raised additional health and safety concerns caused by the lack of emergency airlift.
Without the use of the airstrip, residents and visitors were only able to access the island via a ferry from Black Point, Exuma.
“In March of this year, a team of technical officers from the Department of Civil Aviation visited the Staniel Cay Airport to conduct a routine aerodrome inspection. During the visit the officials noted the deteriorating condition of the runway. Upon the team’s return to New Providence, the department issued a notice to airmen (NOTAM), advising pilots of the compromised state of the first 2,000 feet of the 3,044-foot runway. Arrangements were also made for a technical team to return and conduct a formal inspection of the runway,” said Hanna-Martin.
The government shut down the airport in early April without further notice following urgent recommendations from a technical team comprised of engineers from the Ministry of Works and Urban Development and the Department of Civil Aviation, citing “pavement failure.” The team found that the degradation of the surface of the runway and apron was so severe that simpler patching was not a viable option.
Minister of Works Philip Brave Davis earlier this week clarified that the repairs would take 12 weeks, not 12 months as previously projected by Livingston Forbes, chief architect within the Ministry of Works.