To Our Glorious Barbados Highway Planners
According to the CBC News, “issues were not foreseen when the project was in its planning stage” and the work required to complete the ABC Highway is now triple what was planned for.
Apparently the idiots and crooks who tendered, planned, bid and examined the bids on this mega project “forgot” a few little things, so we at Barbados Free Press would like to provide some advice to all the government officials and construction companies who are planning any further highway upgrades in Barbados.
Bear in mind that we have no experience in these matters – but we don’t feel at all unqualified to speak because experience and competence are obviously not part of the government’s criteria for planning and managing hundred million dollar construction projects in Barbados.
A Few Reminders For Our Incompetent Or Crooked Government Highway Planners And Managers
Here are some lessons about what should be foreseen when a highway project is in the planning stage…
1/ There are all kinds of pipes and wires running under the ground and especially where roadways are, so if you dig up an old road or dig for a new road the construction machines make a terrible mess of those pipes and wires under the ground. The lesson is that locating, protecting, moving or replacing these pipes and wires should be factored into the cost when you are planning a new highway.
2/ When the government is creating a legal contract for constructing a new highway, they should have some really smart people to look over the contract before it is signed – so we, the people of Barbados can stop the rape of our public treasury. These smart people should also be honest so they don’t create contracts that benefit their friends or construction companies that they have a share in.
3/ Bidders often deliberately fail to include necessary work in their bids so that a/ their bid is the lowest and they win the contract, and b/ the people of Barbados are given a low cost estimate so they will approve the project. For instance, had we the people of Barbados known that the BLP Government planned to spend triple what we were told constructing the ABC Highway, the people and their honest elected representatives might have stopped this nonsense at the start.
4/ Legal contracts should be designed to penalize construction companies who underbid on a project through incompetence or deception. The present contracts are like manna from Heaven for the construction companies because all liability and responsibility for bidding errors is on the government – which means the people of Barbados. The government people who sign and oversee these contracts on behalf of the people of Barbados are either incompetent or dishonestly receiving kickbacks for their “stupidity”. Government construction contracts should be changed so that we will never again have a situation where bidders can blame the government for things that the construction companies should have foreseen and included in their project costing.
But we’re only ordinary folks here at Barbados Free Press. We don’t drive BMWs – so what could we possibly know?
ABC Project To Cost More
Government will have to pay more than it originally intended for the US $60 million highway widening project.
Notice of this comes from the contractor, 3S Barbados, which says it is because the scope of work has increased.
While the company’s project manager George Siddall declined to say how much the final figure will be, CBC understands that the current scope of work is about three times what it was initially.
Officials of 3S and officials from subcontractors Rayside and C.O. Williams gave a tour and update on the state of the project this afternoon.
It’s just over a year into the road improvement project and much has been done, but several challenges have resulted in delays.
These have often been caused by issues related to water and gas mains as well as power lines.
The issues were not for seen when the project was in its planning stage.
This has hampered the north of the project in particular. This section is being undertaken by Rayside Construction Company.
There is a major power line that runs along the highway that must be re-laid before any work can go on.
As a result of this and other challenges this area of the project is three months behind schedule.
But efforts are being made to get back on track to enable the project to finish as near as possible to its completion date next May.
As a result Rayside Construction has increased its workforce by 20 to 25 percent and is working later hours, up to six and six 30 in the evening, as well as weekends.
But there are some areas that are progressing on schedule and are expected to be completed by the May deadline.
Nevertheless, 3S says if the project goes beyond next May and additional costs are incurred there is provision in the contract for the contractor to recoup the added expenses.
… from the CBC (link here)
Also see our friends over at Barbados Underground who are as surprised about this tripling of costs as we are…