On December 18, 2015 under the Progressive Liberal Party (PLP) government, led by former Prime Minister, Perry G. Christie, a $6.5 million contract was signed between The Bahamas Government and All Bahamas Construction (ABC) to construct a causeway at the Fishing Hole Road (FHR) that connects east and west Grand Bahama.
The estimated time of completion was 61 weeks, to be completed by the end of January 2107. However, due to unforeseen circumstances, namely the passage of Hurricane Matthew last year, and a few other acts of nature following, construction on the much need causeway was delayed.
The construction of the elevated roadway has been a major concern for many Grand Bahamians, particularly for those who work and/or reside on the western end of the island, as the present FHR is known to flood during heavy rainfall and surges. The urgency of constructing the causeway was also noted during the contract signing in 2015, when Christie acknowledged that Bobby Tinker, lost his life while attempting to cross the FHR during Hurricane Frances.
At the time of the contract signing, Christie also acknowledged Ivory and Robert Tinker (children of Bobby Tinker), whom were also in attendance, expressing that the construction of the causeway meant so much for so many Grand Bahamians.
“This signing for a new causeway will bring the connectivity between Freeport and the West into actualization, and never let again as far as humanely possible anyone else suffer as these two we have heard here, walk to a podium to speak about their Dad; a father who was going home to try and take care of them because of the implications of a hurricane and lost his life; a daddy who was not going to be there for graduation”, stated Christie.
As the Free National Movement (FNM), led by Prime Minister Dr. Hubert Minnis, won the general election on May 10 of this year, construction of the causeway continued, however, was again halted with the threat of tropical disturbances and hurricanes during the 2017 Atlantic Hurricane season.
This daily recently spoke to Parliamentary Secretary in the Ministry of Public Works and Member of Parliament for Central Grand Bahama, Iram Lewis, who shared some insight on the progress of the causeway construction.
“The Fishing Hole Road Causeway is going well. We will be carrying out an inspection shortly, to ensure that everything is not only on schedule, but that the quality of work is up to standard. It (causeway) is something that is going to be heavily used, in terms of traffic, back and forth, from east to west, as well as for heavy traffic going to the Freeport Container Port, The Grand Bahama Shipyard and Bahama Rock. We will conduct intense inspections, just to ensure that the quality of work is up to par, and that it meets our specifications.
“The schedule and pace that they are on right now is a good pace. Once we have completed our inspection, we will return to the media and give a thorough update,” said Lewis.
Additionally, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance K. Peter Turnquest was questioned on the status of the fire station located on Cathedral Boulevard (formerly Settler’s Way).
For all intents and purposes, the fire station appeared, from the exterior of the building to have been completed prior to the May 10, general elections, however it has not been officially opened as yet.
Turnquest shared,” I know that the Minister of National Security (Marvin Dames) is actively looking at that with respect to, I believe furniture which is the issue. I know that he is actively looking at that now, so hopefully, not too soon, we will have more information on that.”
The contract signing of the construction of the sole Police Fire Station on the island of Grand Bahama took place on May 29, 2015 at the Office of the Prime Minister, between the then Bahamas Government and Patrick McDonald Construction Company. The construction was agreed to be completed in the sum of $6,109.999.75.