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Hope rises for repair of South Acklins highway

Family Island News
  • The South Acklins highway. BERKLEY WILLIAMS

For The Nassau Guardian

Published: Oct 30, 2013

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ACKLINS – The long-awaited repairs to the South Acklins highway could begin in early 2014, according to Stephen Rose, a businessman and social activist from Salina Point.

The repairs to the highway would provide relief for the island’s residents, especially the students who have to be bused 60 miles round trip to the high school from Salina Point.

The Progressive Liberal Party (PLP) administration promised the residents of Salina Point that work would start on the road soon after it took office after the 2012 general election.  V. Alfred Gray, member of Parliament for Acklins, told The Nassau Guardian early in 2013 that the PLP administration had secured funds from a bank to finance the reconstruction of the South Acklins highway, and that it would only be a matter of time before the contract would be sent out to tender.  But so far, no work has been done to the road.

Rose said: “Senior Cabinet ministers told me that plans are on the drawing board for work to commence on the Acklins highway as soon as January 2014.  I was assured that the contract would go to tender before Christmas.”

Some Acklins residents are skeptical about this potential development, however, and think this is yet another promise in a series of broken promises made by the government.  Rose thinks otherwise.

“I have no reason to disbelieve or worry whether the road would be repaired.  This is the same government that awarded a $3.4 million contract to fix this same road and the Free National Movement administration cancelled it,” he said.

“In fact, I spoke to the prime minister and he has expressed that the reconstruction of this road is top priority for him.  The good folks of Salina Point feel comfortable that we are in credible hands.”

A few weeks ago some work was done to 30 miles of road leading to Salina Point.  According to Rose, the road is more passible now, as many of the large holes have been filled and the sides of the road were cleared of bushes.

Gray told The Nassau Guardian that he does not know about the work that was done on the road recently, but he can say that the government is putting a financial package together to repair the Acklins highway and rebuild Inagua’s airport terminal.

“I cannot, however, give you a date as to when this will actually happen,” he said.

Gray further explained that the money is not in the treasury to do all the things the government needs to do, as revenues are slow.

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