Barbados’ Transport Minister remains mum on 3S Flyover Cancellation – Instead pledges to initiate Seaview Terminal by Princess Alice H’way

During the presentation of the 2008 Budget (You remember those, right? Let’s you know how much you get taxed the following year – oh wait, Freundel say we don’t need it this year!) many Barbadians got a good jolt when Prime Minister David Thompson says with immediate effect any flyover proposal with 3S will now cease (A project, you’ll recall, rammed down Barbadians’ throats by the Hon. member of St Peter – Owen S. Arthur)…

I want to deal specifically with the ABC highway as this is an example of the most reckless and wanton disregard for financial prudence and management.

This project, you will recall, was started by a company that no one knew anything about and, apart from information emanating from legal sources in the United Kingdom and Jamaica, we still know little about.

How could a government let a company start a project based on an artist’s impression? In July, 2006 Three S started constructionon a rolling basisof road widening for a projected cost of $40,232,432.00. Eight Flyovers were to be constructed again on an artist’s impression for $79,517,659.00. This was a total projected cost of $119, 750,000.00. Work started and no contract was signed and, despite the decision of the Cabinet of Barbados, Three S has still not signed a contract.

No specifications, no bill of quantities, no working drawings and no contract!

From an original projection of $119 million in November 2005, by May 6, 2006 the projection had reached $143,614,460.23 in less than six months. By December 17 2007, the figure for road widening only moved from the original figure of $40 million to a revised figure of $70, 231,220.00 and then to an amazing $117 million. Despite the decision of my Cabinet, Three S is now claiming more.

Enough is enough!

As Prime Minister and Minister of Finance, I am ordering an immediate termination of the contract with Three S; a full investigation of that sordid mess – the terms of which will be set out shortly; and that the Ministry of Transport, Works and International Transport work with the Barbadian contractors to have the road widening completed.

Furthermore, there will be no flyovers!!

{NB – Italics, Bold & Underlining are mine as I recall how he spoke vehemently on the matter; but the exclamations are PM Thompson’s}

While noble in its intent to save Barbados money, 3S now expects compensation for the cessation of the project, contract or not! Minister of Public Works & Transport, the Hon. John Boyce, delivered the Democratic Labour Party’s lunchtime lecture yesterday on the matter of what else? Transport!

Minister John Boyce making a point while DLP Headquarters on George Street yesterday during Lunch

Minister John Boyce making a point at DLP Headquarters on George Street yesterday during Lunch

So during question time I asked him about the flyovers as to if the Government of Barbados had reached an out of court settlement with 3S who threatened to sue and I also asked if the now fixed Joe’s River bridge will have gabions to prevent any further washouts, and his response was rather taciturn in nature {CLICK ON FOLLOWING LINK FOR FULL AUDIO};-

Minister Boyce made it very clear while no contract was issued for the flyovers, nevertheless 3S had made a lawsuit against Barbados – yet when the case was adjudicated that the whole island will be informed of the decision, as to the gabions? Minister Boyce says that’s a technical matter for the engineers of his Ministry and he is not stepping in their bailiwick.

Minister Boyce was using the informal gathering to express intent on presenting to key Community members the draft edition of the Transport Amendment Act. The Minister wishes to insist that motorists now carry their Licenses at all times and present immediately and not at a station of choice but where jurisprudence prevails, this is a reasonable expectation given that many Bajans now use the card as opposed to the old red book for a Driver’s License. I still don’t like how one’s personal data is displayed on these cards, there should be a generalised serial number symbolising this info.

Guests included Hal Martin, Taan Abed and Bob Verdun in the packed cafeteria

Guests included Hal Martin, Taan Abed and Bob Verdun in the packed cafeteria

Mr Boyce also wants to have the act limit the functions of the All Terrain Vehicles which have been involved with quite a few accidents; a revision of demarcation lines between the Graeme Hall junction and the Sagicor junction which some refer to as ‘The Bermuda Triangle‘; the Traffic Amendment Act will also stipulate conditions for sale & permit of used vehicles and the use of mobiles while driving.

Minister Boyce says the matter of drunk driving is comprehensive and therefore cannot be included in the Act, it must be reviewed separately but DUI laws are on the table… His main thrust is that the Seaview Terminal will now be fulfilled at the Princess Alice Highway {CLICK ON FOLLOWING LINK FOR FULL AUDIO};-

The bus depot is to be a partnership with the Private Sector, although no indication was made of who the co-sponsor is, but if Minister Boyce had his way, then the project would begin immediately as proof of action over the BLP’s inaction for the same proposal.

When I posed the query about 3S, you could have heard an ant belch in that room, it got so quiet...

When I posed the query about 3S, you could have heard an ant belch in that room, it got so quiet...

As you heard, the Minister makes a continual reference to inertia or inactivity as BLP-centred. Considering how the DLP are now into their 3rd year of running this country into the ground can they really keep blaming any administration far less the BLP or PEP or the long-winded SOMASS-FREEDEM?

If one can refer to previous regimes why not look at Barbados in the late 80’s and early 90’s when Route Taxis weren’t even known as ZR’s but Z-Vans? They were quickly copied by Haitians in New York who called their pirate taxis “Tap-Tap’s” (Mimicking how you stop the van, knocking on the side of the panel), does anyone recall when just before the Sept. 1994 Elections a whole pile of ZR permits were issued and an all too brief inquiry made nothing of it (I’m certain this is NOT due to the fact the former Transport Minister of that day, Johnny Tudor switched to then ruling-BLP, right? Ahem!)

Fmr, B'dos Ambassador to the UN, Besley Maycock coordinates these lunchtime lectures which are a weekly service for Barbadians.

Fmr. B'dos Ambassador to the UN, Besley Maycock coordinates these lunchtime lectures which are a weekly service for Barbadians.

The ZR culture is not John Boyce’s fault, nor certainly is it the fault of this current incarnation of the Democratic Labour Party, but do they really want to examine the true origins of where the culture began and why? No hard feelings, people, see you at the 55th Annual General Conference of the DLP, right? Guys? HellooOOoo?? H’mmm!

4 Responses

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  1. Man I sick of this! Who die and make U engineer? You doan even kno all de the facts.

  2. Enlighten me, please do…

  3. I’m looking to connect with Hal Martin, my name is Marcella Spruell, from Springfield Massachusetts, you sold my parents life insurance policies back in the day… Would love to connect with you,, or 413.455.8963



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