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Contact:  Shannon Lebourne


Monday, July 25, 2011  The Ministry of Communications and Works is presently rehabilitating some of the major retaining walls around the island which were compromised by Hurricane Tomas.  These works are being funded by the Caribbean Development Bank, (CDB).


Chief Engineer in the Ministry of Communication and Works, Lester Arnold says Parliament has already granted authorisation for the major interventions in areas like the Barre D` Isle.


He explains that a lot of protocols needed to be followed before actual physical works could commence.


“There is a lot of work to do before the actual design for rehabilitation, technicians have to go in and survey the area and do a lot of geo-technical work in terms of looking at the ground conditions to ascertain  what soil type you  are dealing with and how deep is your bedrock etc, because when you are building retaining structures it is always best you design it on firm ground you don’t want to do it on loose soil because in the future another landslide may occur and the wall will be lost especially if is in what’s called a “slip plain”, so there is quite a bit which must be done before you can finalise the design so all of these investigations is what is used in the design process, so it takes a little bit of time so we asking people to be  patient with us as we move forward because as the old saying goes “Rome was not built in  Day”  Arnold added.


The Chief Engineer says the rehabilitation of state infrastructure is being designed to withstand destruction from a natural disaster of greater intensity to Hurricane Tomas.    “Hurricane Tomas has taught us a lot and it was what we call a freak event and the jury is still out on what the return period for an event of that magnitude so we are designing our rehabilitation with future eventualities in mind, we may get an event worse than Hurricane Tomas or it might not be so severe but we have been actively engaged in designing properly and looking at sustainable means of construction as we move forward” lamented Lester Arnold.


According to the Chief Engineer the Ministry of Communications and Works has so far expended over $30EC million in clean up and restoration works post Hurricane Tomas.




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