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Reviving the river

Rolling on a river.

In about 14 months, or around January 2014, the Constitution River should be a beautiful place to see – and smell.

Work on the second phase of the Constitution River Improvements Project has started and Chief Executive Officer of the Barbados Tourism Investment Inc. Stuart Layne told Barbados TODAY via telephone today that once completed, the water should be teeming with marine life and flooding should be eliminated.

“This [project] obviously links with Phase 1 and goes right up to Queen’s Park bridge. The depth is approximately six metres and therefore you’re going to have a bit of marine life. It is not only going to be aesthetically pleasing, but it serves a practical purpose of ensuring that we won’t have any flooding in the area so it should be quite a beautiful addition, and part of the green space for Bridgetown,” he said.

Layne said it would link “nicely with Queen’s Park as well as Church Village”, the latter project the BTI was hoping to start shortly.

The dredging of the river bed is part of the initial part of this phase, he explained, and had to be done to allow for water coming in to be about six metres. Therefore the issues of stagnant water would disappear because of the “exchange with salt water”.

In relation to the cost of the project, Layne said there was a “competitive tendering process and it was “less expensive than phase one”.

“We’ve only just started and we expect to get it in within budget,” he added.

The CEO also said that Phase 3, which is at the embryonic stage, would see the organisation undertaking work from the Queen’s Park gate right up to the old Globe Cinema.

The overall aim of the project is to enhance the environment of the area between the Charles Duncan O’Neal Bridge and the James A. Tudor Roundabout. It includes constructing new embankments and dredging the waterway all the way beyond Queen’s Park.

Layne described the Church Village project as “quite an exciting” one.

“For many years we talked about it but we’re about to do it in the near future. That should start in another few weeks to months. We’re still waiting on some planning approvals for some aspects of the project but we expect to have it started within the very near future,” the CEO said.

The BTI was also involved in the completed CCTV project for the City as well as St. Lawrence Gap, Christ Church. (DS)

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