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Grenada says it will spend an estimated two million EC dollars (One EC dollar =US$0.37 cents) on upgrading structures, including the century old tunnel in the city, damaged by floods and landslides over the last weekend.
The authorities said that the tunnel, which serves as the main route into the city from the south of the island, had been blocked by huge boulders brought down by the
Prime Minister Dr. Keith Mitchell, who is now in the United States, has expressed sorrow at the damage caused by the rains.
The rehabilitation of the tunnel comes under the World Bank Slope Stabilization Project and Works Minister Gregory Bowen says the project will start sooner as a result of the disaster.
“We may say perhaps it is timely that this would have come down before or otherwise the project would have had to shell it down; but it has exposed itself and so we would be undertaking this project very soon,” he added.
The project Engineer Carlyle Glean Jr. said there was always the intention to fast track the building process “but when you’re dealing with banks who deal with the European Union, fast is relative.
“They have procurement guidelines that they would insist that we follow and there are certain times allotted to everything and because it is an internationally funded project, the bidding would have to be open to international contractors too. So we have limitations in how fast we can fast track.”
Work on the Presbyterian Church which sits on top of the tunnel has been put on hold until the rehabilitation project is completed.
The Church was severely damaged during Hurricane Ivan, a decade ago.
“The church has been given permission to rebuild by planning however because of the World Bank project, we were asked to hold back so we asked Planning for an extension. We got an extension so we cannot start any work until this project with the rock face is completed,” said reverend Osbert James.