Bahamas: Repairs to Fishing Hole Bridge to be Completed Before Start of Hurricane Season
#Freeport, Grand Bahama, The Bahamas – May 7, 2020 — Final repairs to the Fishing Hole Road Bridge are expected to be completed before or at least by the beginning of the hurricane season, which begins in June, according to Minister of State for Disaster Preparedness, Management and Reconstruction, the Hon. Iram Lewis.
Minister Lewis, along with Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance the Hon. K. Peter Turnquest, Minister of State for Grand Bahama Senator the Hon. Kwasi Thompson, and Member of Parliament for West Grand Bahama and Bimini, Mrs. Pakesia Parker-Edgecombe toured the Fishing Hole Road Bridge on Wednesday morning (May 6, 2020) as workers were busy carrying out repairs.
Minister Lewis noted that the repairs will make the bridge much stronger than it was when it was originally constructed: “We promised to build back better and stronger and so we are witnessing progress to repairs of the bridge. The concrete replaces the asphalt that was there pre-Dorian. What we have now is stronger and more resilient.”
Deputy Prime Minister, Peter Turnquest noted that the bridge will be necessary to protecting lives and providing access for emergency services in and out of West Grand Bahama. He said the causeway helps to spur on local commerce on the island of Grand Bahama: “Particularly now that we are in a situation where we are going to have to depend more on our domestic economy than we do on our visitors — to have this access between West Grand Bahama and Freeport has become critical.”
He noted that the repaired bridge will serve as the primary means of access for residents, but added that the lower road will operate as a service road for heavy equipment. He said that although the repairs have made the bridge stronger and capable of heavy loads, the idea of the service road will be to take the stress of heavy loads moving back and forth.
“While progress has been slower than what we would want, it only goes to show that these things are technical issues and we want to make sure that we do it right and spend the money to get the best value for the Bahamian people,” said Minister Turnquest. “So, we appreciate the patience and we will continue to improve on our infrastructure and deliver the services that the Grand Bahamian people deserve and need.”
Minister Turnquest thanked the Contractors from ABC Construction for their commitment to first completing the project, and then making the necessary repairs.
West Grand Bahama and Bimini Member of Parliament, and Parliamentary Secretary in the Office of the Prime Minister, Pakesia Parker-Edgecombe said that West Grand Bahama is happy to see repair to the bridge is nearing completion.
She noted that the flooding at the Fishing Hole Road has become legendary among Grand Bahamians and a bone of contention for many years, wreaking havoc on travel for residents living in West Grand Bahama, who have to traverse the Fishing Hole Road to get to work.
The new bridge has been purposed to bring an end to that age-old problem: “The fact that this bridge is being built better and stronger attests to our resiliency in moving forward with regards to being prepared in hurricanes,” said Mrs. Edgecombe.
She added, “To know that the only connecting point out of West Grand Bahama into the eastern part of Grand Bahama is going to be completed is absolutely good news for us, and we can’t wait for it to be finished.”
BIS News by Andrew Coakely
FBI and Bahamas looking into woman’s death
#TheBahamas, March 17, 2023 – The FBI is investigating a woman’s ‘suspicious’ death on a Carnival Cruise ship in February. The unnamed woman and her husband boarded the Carnival Sunshine on February 27th, for a trip to the Bahamas, but she was dead before they arrived in the port in The Bahamas.
The FBI said Carnival’s team had administered life saving measures when the woman was reported unresponsive, but they were unsuccessful. The body and the woman’s husband were released to the Bahamian authorities when the cruise arrived in the country.
In a statement shared with US media houses, Carnival Cruises claimed the death has been a natural one. The Nassau Guardian said a source told them the police findings had concurred with that assessment saying it was a “normal sudden death of a tourist who wasn’t feeling well.”
The FBI was waiting for the cruise and when it got back to South Carolina on March 4th, they immediately boarded and began to investigate the room based on ‘evidence of a crime.’ The FBI also searched the couple’s car.
No updates have been shared to contradict the currently established cause of death.
Why Sargassum Matters
#TheBahamas, March 17, 2023 – “If you don’t like it, go to another beach!” Is what Aaron John, an Education Officer from The Bahamas National Trust jokingly tells our news team about sargassum blooms; his quip, motivated by the necessity of nature when pit against the notion that there is a real threat when the stinky seaweed makes its annual appearance.
John can admit, he says, that Sargassum isn’t very pretty but life isn’t all about aesthetics and in this instance that ugly patch serves a purpose.
“We love our sandy beaches, but in order to keep them we need Sargassum. When storms come, they wash away all the sand off the beach but sargassum acts as a mulch to protect the sand from water erosion. It doesn’t look good, it doesn’t feel good but we need it.”
He said it also provides a habitat for small crustaceans, crabs, and insects that are all necessary to our ecosystem and islanders have found use for the weed.
“Historically, (in The Bahamas) we have been using sargassum as fertilizer, especially in the family Islands as far back as I know,” he said. “Birds don’t go on the beach unless there is Sargassum and what do they do? they feed – it’s beautiful.”
He encouraged residents to just leave it be if they came across it.
Sargassum isn’t harmful to humans, except for people with respiratory issues who may find the rotten egg smell triggers asthma. Despite this, it’s not advisable to walk through the weeds which may hide sharp rocks and bottles or vulnerable animals.
Experts say Sargassum blooms began to increase in size around 2011 and have continued to get bigger and bigger since. This year‘s bloom is around 5000 miles long and 300 miles wide and visible from space.
“I know it’s not a general outlook, but I would like to change the perspective on sargassum,” John said, pointing out The Bahamas National Trust is actively working to decrease alarm over the less worrisome events like sargassum as it raises the profile on the environmentally devastating.
Lease agreement approved for diaspora office
#TurksandCaicos, March 17, 2023 – The Turks and Caicos’ Bahamas Diaspora Office is moving closer and closer to opening day, following the Cabinet’s approval for the signing of a lease agreement.
The lease will be signed with FINCEN ltd in the Bahamas. Several weeks ago, Arlington Musgrove, Minister of Immigration confirmed to our news team that the location had been found and was being finalized; now a lease is approved at the Cabinet level.
The interest in the TCI from TC Bahamians was evident in the diaspora meetings held in early February. The two meetings held in Nassau and Grand Bahama were completely full and over-subscribed by hundreds.
It’s interest which the Government hopes will translate to real life population growth, bolstering the local population before the native population ‘goes extinct’.
The Opposition PDM is on the record with what it feels is a far more viable solution to a dwindling native population; seek out the country’s own citizens and bring them back home.
Cabinet did not state when the office will open.
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