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Cart roads in several districts to be improved under new project

The Ministry of Transport, Works, and Water Resources (MTWW) has embarked on a project to upgrade scores of cart roads in urban and rural districts across Barbados.

Under the Community Access Road Transformation (CART) Project, residents living along 60 earthen roads will benefit from better surfaces and improved accessibility from their homes to the main roads. In some cases, utility connections, such as water mains, will also be installed.

Cart roads will be transformed into conventional surface roads using the milling stuff from the airport’s runway, penetrated with asphalt emulsion, rolled, compacted, and then sand sealed.

Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Transport, Works, and Water Resources, Santia Bradshaw, revealed that a road in Edgecliff, St John; Best Road in St George; and CH Best Road in St Philip were already completed under the project.

“Although the roads are not like the main roads in terms of the asphalt finish, the immediate effect that people will have is a smoother surface. If there were potholes in the area, that issue would have been alleviated. It makes it a lot easier for cars to come into the community and for people to access,” she explained.

Minister Bradshaw disclosed that the ministry had invested in additional machinery to ensure workers assigned to MTWW depots would be fully equipped to transform cart roads across the 11 parishes.

An officer from the Ministry of Transport, Works, and Water Resources applying asphalt emulsion to the road at CH Best, St Philip.

“Obviously, a number of those pieces of equipment have had to take time to procure. We are almost at the completion stage of getting all of that equipment, but what it has done, the 3.2 million that we’ve invested in the additional equipment, is that it has allowed the various depots to roll out the programme a lot more smoothly. So, across the various communities, the depots are very involved in preparing the roads and using the new equipment to complete the task under the CART Project.”

Beyond smoother road surfaces, utilities will be upgraded along some cart roads. At Edgecliff, St John, for example, the width of the road was increased, and a turning bay added to help people get in and out easily. The water service was also improved, so people coming after to build houses could easily tap into the existing water main.

Minister Bradshaw said while the focus was generally on the main roads and other community roads, the CART Project will bring a level of relief to families who may have previously felt neglected.

She explained the initial 60 roads under the first phase were selected after consultation with the ministry’s technical staff, the MTWW depots, and with Members of Parliament responsible for various districts.

She added that while the first phase was being rolled out, the intention was to generate another list of roads for the second phase.

“We know a lot of people will say their road was left off the list. I want to reinforce the point that we have to start somewhere. We can’t do everything all at one time, but we hope by initiating this particular project and ensuring it is successful in terms of its rollout, that we will be able to have additional funds next financial year to roll out another phase,” Minister Bradshaw said. (BGIS)

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