Vandal digs up newly paved road

A newly paved stretched of JFK Drive was damaged early Saturday morning after a Caterpillar D8 tractor was used to intentionally dig up a portion of the road.
A newly paved stretched of JFK Drive was damaged early Saturday morning after a Caterpillar D8 tractor was used to intentionally dig up a portion of the road.

NASSAU — An unknown person or persons stole a machine used on the Airport Gateway Project and dug up nearly two miles of newly paved road on Friday night, officials said over the weekend.

Police reported that the estimated cost of the damage is $1 million. They said it appears the incident happened between 8:30 p.m. and 9 p.m. Friday.

The damaged area lies between the Gladstone Road roundabout and the entrance to the Westridge subdivision.

Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Works Colin Higgs said yesterday he did not know what motivated the incident.

The culprit used a machine called a Caterpillar D8, which was left on the road’s median when workers finished their shift on Friday.

“Someone obviously jumped on there and went on the war path,” Higgs said.

“I think it’s about 1.7 miles that was damaged. Why it happened, it appears to have been deliberate. I have no knowledge of who did it or why.”

Higgs said it is normal for the workers to leave the equipment parked on site to minimise the cost and time needed to move it.

He said he did not know if keys were needed to start the machine or if a code was needed to get it running.

Pictured is the Caterpillar D8 tractor that officials believe was used to intentionally damage a portion of the newly paved JFK Drive early Saturday morning.
Pictured is the Caterpillar D8 tractor that officials believe was used to intentionally damage a portion of the newly paved JFK Drive early Saturday morning.

Higgs said it would be premature to say if a disgruntled employee or former employee was responsible for the incident. He said police will look at every angle.

“I’m sure they’ll be interviewing the workers as well as the contractor to determine whether there were any persons that threatened to take any such action,” Higgs said. “But I don’t wish to prejudice any investigation by giving any indication of who did it and why.”

Head of the Central Detective Unit Superintendent Paul Rolle said police had no suspects in custody yesterday and had not yet interviewed people on the matter.

“We are still in the early stages of the investigation and trying to see if we can figure out who the suspect is,” Rolle said.

“We are going to find out who it is. We have not eliminated anything or anybody. It’s just that we don’t have a suspect named as yet. As the week progresses we should be in a better position to talk about it.”

Higgs said the contractor’s insurance might cover the cost of the repairs depending on the outcome of a police investigation.

He also said he did not know if it will delay the project any further. (Nassau Guardian)

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