On October 30, 2010, Hurricane Tomas impacted the islands of St. Vincent and St. Lucia, with sustained winds of up to 92 mph (148 km/h) and gusts of over 100 mph (160 km/h) over a 10 hours period. The cost of damage associated with the passage of Hurricane Tomas was estimated at USD 84.95 million with most of the damage attributed to the agriculture, housing and infrastructure sectors. The primary problems experienced in the infrastructure sector were related to bridge overtopping, land slippage/erosion and fallen trees. As a result, most of the roadways had to be cleared, a labour intensive and time consuming exercise. The cost of damage to the road and bridge network was estimated by the UNDP/ECLAC Report at XCD 4. million, including the cost for roadway clearance and clean-up.
The Congo Valley where this proposed project is located was particularly affected by the storm. In this particular case, the floods, landslides and debris created by Hurricane Tomas resulted in overtopping at bridges and road blockage, slippage and scour. The overtopping of the Grand Sable Bridge cut off the poor northern communities, including the community of indigenous peoples for the rest of the country.
The overall objective of the project is to improve the quality of life of residents in the poor, rural North Central and North Windward communities of St. Vincent by eliminating the risk of isolation during a storm event.
This project was divided into two lots and contracts for both lots were awarded to Franco Construction Ltd at a combined value of XCD 4, 139, 777.02.
- Lot 1: Rehabilitation of the Grand Sable River Bridge
The works include:
- Establishment of a temporary roadway leading to bypass bridge;
- Demolition and reconstruction of the existing Grand Sable bridge in its entirety and associated wing walls;
- Realignment of both sides of the Grand Sable river using gabion baskets.
Work commenced on 21st September, 2015 and has an expected duration of 12 months. To date, the works are progressing smoothly and are on-schedule.
- Lot 2: Rehabilitation of the Congo Valley Road, Bridge and River Defenses
The works include:
- Demolition and reconstruction of the existing bridge #1;
- Realignment/integration of roadway and drainage to suit the configuration of the new bridge and its related structures;
- Realignment of sections of both of the Grand Sable river using gabion baskets;
- Miscellaneous repair works to roads, drains and other bridge structures.
Works on this lot are substantially completed. The contractor was issued provisional acceptance on 16th November, 2015 which marked the commencement date of the defects liability stage for the works which ends on 15th November, 2016.