Stantec – Heading For Another Project Disaster?

In this article, BFP Reader Richard Goddard looks at the common connection between the Greenland dump disaster and the controversial Barbados flyover project: Stantec…

In the Barbados Advocate and Nation newspapers of Saturday, 13th October, 2007 there’s a press release from the government that the MInistry of Public Works and Transport and 3S Barbados SRL the major contractor for the Barbados road network infrastructure project, met last Thursday with representatives of the Barbados Association of Professional Engineers (BAPE) following the concerns raised publicly by that body. Among other things, it mentioned that detailed road design, including the associated drainage work, had been carried out by STANTEC Consulting, “a well established and respected profesisonal engineering firm in Barbados, in conjunction with their offices in the U.S. and Canada. They are one of the largest and most respected engineering firms.”

It would appear to me that STANTEC is the major brain behind this project, and that it will end up as a disaster for the motoring public, as well as for the taxpayers of Barbados. For those with short memories, or who have just recently arrived in Barbados, STANTEC Engineering is the new name for Stanley Engineering of Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. Its name change took place about 10 years ago, after the failure of the engineering design for the Greenland garbage dump in the Scotland District National Park, St Andrew, Barbados.

Was this name change undertaken to avoid civil or criminal liability on this project?

Stanley Engineering had worked in Barbados from the early 1970s, which included road and land use in the Scotland District, and the ocean currents flowing around Barbados. When they tendered for the solid waste disposal study in 1994, they recommended that the dump site be retained in Mangrove Pond in St Thomas, but it had to be better managed and financed.

Government told Stanley Engineering to go and look again and include Greenland in St Andrew. Stanley Engineering re-submitted their findings and recommended Greenland, but with a provision that they had never considered Greenland, because they had understood that it was in the Scotland District National Park as outlined in the physical development plan of Barbados.

The studies carried out by Stanley confirmed that the Scotland District had a long history of storm washouts and landslips, and that Greenland was particularly subject to this. However, they went ahead and designed a landfill which was built in 1996 at a cost of over $20 million, plus the re-building of damaged roads and a bridge for a further $11 million. To date not 1 lb. of garbage has been delivered to the site.

A second Canadian company, R.J. Burnside of Toronto, Canada carried out a study and recommended a retro-fit. To date, over $20 million have been spent, but no engineer will design the foundations to hold the leachate pond that is necessary. This leachate system will cost over $25 million but was budgeted to cost $4 million. With the transfer station rolling stock, the whole project will cost over $100 million, and will fail.

The land at Greenland is constantly slipping, and should the leachate tank, which is 140′ x 40′ x 20′ slip, it would crack either the cement or metal tank and thousands of gallons of poison leachate would drain into the Greenland River and into the ocean at Green Pond and Morgan Lewis beach.

I would recommend that both the Nation and Barbados Advocate publish the response by John Whittingham, a road engineer with many years experience, both in Canada and the Caribbean. I also look forward to the reply from Roger Blackman, President of BAPE, and again this should be carried in full in both newspapers.

Richard Goddard


Filed under Barbados, Environment

6 responses to “Stantec – Heading For Another Project Disaster?

  1. james

    Living in Barbados blog have a rumour of a chemical bomb going off at Coconut Court hotel in Hastings. Anyone got any more information ?

  2. Undertaker

    I was never in favour of this greenland project. Greenland is too beautiful to be spoilt like that, (plus I feel that the money will not be stopped spending, if it holds until this generation, the next will surely have problems with it.) Greenland would be more ideally suited with some nice ecotourism.

  3. reality check

    so basically Stantec told the government to put the site at Mangrove and the government ( David Simmons’s riding ) didn’t like their experts message, so they put it in the most sensitive area in Barbados with the fewest votes.

    Not only does this prove that he who pays the pipers calls the tune but if you pay enough money, even an international company like Stantec will drop its clothes and its integrity shamelessly in favour of bad overall planning.

  4. John

    …. and don’t forget about the $3 billion reasons Mangrove Pond has to close. Sandy Lane wants to develop the environs of Dairy Meadows!!

    All these reasons no doubt are driving matters.

  5. liz

    “met last Thursday with representatives of the Barbados Association of Professional Engineers (BAPE) following the concerns raised publicly by that body etc
    Has there been any further comment by BAPE since that meeting?

    Did BAPE comment on Greenland at any time?