THA secretary admits: Hiccups in road-repair project

The content originally appeared on: Trinidad and Tobago Newsday

Trevor James –

THA Secretary of Infrastructure, Quarries and Urban Development Trevor James has admitted to a resource challenge in the Show Me A Road Tobago (SMART) project.

The SMART programme is an online platform through which members of the public can report potholes.

Admitting to the hindrance on the Tobago Updates morning show on Friday, James said the response time is not as speedy as was expected.

“I apologise for that. It is a situation where we met equipment down all over the place, rental and lease (of equipment) that spanned $20 million per year…

“We are hoping this end of year some monies would become available and we can buy some new spreaders and some mobile equipment to improve our fleet.

“Hopefully, come October, we’ll see an increase and improvement in the response for Show Me A Road.”

He claimed that nevertheless the programme was going well.

“People continue – because of what we’ve been trying to do with this pothole programme. Bear with us, all the holes are going to be repaired in due course. Bear with us, Tobago, the fix-it crew are on the job.”

On the City of Scarborough project, he said it was going ahead, saying the consultation phase has ended.

“We’ve had the most extensive consultations ever seen, probably, in TT.

“The contract has been signed off with the contractors and a kick-off meeting is planned for the last week of September.”

He said the design work will begin soon.

“We’ve had several proposals to move the cruise ship complex into Scarborough from three or four people who want to build that for us – design-build-finance – and so things are going to move, things are going to jump ahead quickly in the first quarter of this fiscal (year) coming and in the new year.”

In December 2020, James identified a 12-point plan to revitalise Scarborough, including expanding its boundaries, addressing traffic congestion and modernising the area to promote business activity. The plan, he said, also includes a new ferry terminal, a roundabout and a museum.

Plans also include repurposing the Botanical Gardens in downtown Scarborough, rebuilding the Scarborough Esplanade along Milford Road to include duty-free shopping, as well as hotels, marina and a craft centre. He said there are also plans to beautify Carrington Street, near the Botanical Gardens, with benches, trees and free Wi-Fi, as well as an amphitheatre.