By Kathryn Campbell
On a recent visit, the Hon. Alfred Sears Minister of Works and Utilities, and a team of engineers, viewed the bridge destroyed by Hurricane Dorian in 2019 and presently under construction.
“We went to the north of Abaco and visited the bridge which connects to Little Abaco,” said Minister Sears. “It’s good to see the ingenuity and competence of the contractor Stefan Knowles, a young engineer from a construction family. To see him and his brother Mark, and the excellent work being done on the bridge designed by Robert Mouzas, Deputy Director. To see the application, the assemblage and quality of the work by the contractor was very inspiring to me.
“It will not only provide a mode of transport for vehicles and pedestrians across the creek, but it also protects the environment because the creek will be able to breathe and flow beneath the bridge, as well as boats will be able to navigate under the bridge.”
Mr. Knowles, a Bahamian engineer of SJK Engineering and Construction Ltd., believes the bridge is much needed for Abaco.
“Abaco needs it. Abaco is a growing island and it has a very vibrant economy. Despite Dorian, it is coming back very quickly,” he said.
“The main function of the bridge is to open the waterway. Whenever the two islands got connected – 70-80 years ago, perhaps when they did the logging throughout The Bahamas of the Abaco pine, they probably filled in the creek so they could transport logs from one end to the next. This is going to be the first time in generations that the creek is going to be actually open for water to flow from the bank side to the ocean side.
“Blocking that creek back in the day obstructed the flow [of water] and obstructed the flow of marine life. The fish could not go from one end to the next. That is going to create a huge revamp of the eco-system with all the fish coming through – more birds, turtles and snakes.”
He describes the bridge as “very robust.”
“It is elevated 13 feet above high-water mark. You have to have at least a 13 feet surge above high-water mark in order for that to reach the bottom of the bridge.
“You would have to have another Dorian or worse in order for water to overtop the bridge.”
Mr. Knowles anticipates that the bridge will be completed in mid-February, 2022.
Press Release: BIS
Bahamas as Caribbean top 2024 Spring Destination
#Bahamas#Tourism, February 23rd, 2024 – The Bahamas has been categorized as the most popular Caribbean destination for travel in the upcoming spring season by travel insurance company Squaremouth, in a new report. It was the only Caribbean nation to make the list for the top 10 destinations. The report is derived from travel insurance purchases made through Squaremouth.
Regional Soldiers head to Jamaica to train for pending Haiti mission
#Haiti#KenyaMultinationalForce#CARICOM, February 22nd, 2024 – About 150 Bahamian soldiers are heading to Jamaica within the next one or two weeks for a joint training with Jamaican soldiers, in preparation for the pending Kenya led multinational force mission to Haiti according to Bahamian Defense Chief Commodore, Raymond King, in reports. Soldiers and security forces from Chile and Argentina will also travel to Jamaica for the training.
King informs that Kenya and Haiti are in the process of signing off on an agreement to allow Kenya to lead the force into Haiti, following advice from Kenya’s High Court which recently deemed Kenya’s decision to deploy police officers to the gang run nation as unconstitutional. This agreement includes a formal request for assistance from Haiti, allowing Kenya to legally intervene on the ground.
Major plans for The Bahamas announced Davis
#Bahamas#Development,February 22nd, 2024 – “Things are changing in The Bahamas,” were the words of Prime Minister Philip Davis as he outlined some of the Government’s plans to improve the nation through a decrease in the cost of living, enhanced security for Bahamians and the expansion of access to opportunities. Davis, who was presenting on February 21st, the Bahamas Mid-Year Review of the fiscal performance for the fiscal year 2023/2024, highlighted a long list of plans for the archipelago.
Here’s the full list stated in Davis’ address :
- A new energy policy and an expansion of renewable energy, including microgrids, and an emphasis on engaging local Bahamian firms and building local professional capacity;
- An expansion of Bahamian ownership in our economy, including support for entrepreneurs, small and medium sized enterprises, and an expansion of affordable housing –with hundreds of families moving into new homes by this summer;
- A modern and award-winning specialized tourism product, with new investments across our archipelago, and major visibility and branding campaigns in New York, Florida, and the UK;
- Progress on redeveloping downtown Nassau, long overdue;
- New commitments to education, including a Parental Engagement Unit; more teacher training, modernizing the curriculum, classroom enhancements, improving school attendance, and using the Renaissance testing results to design individualized support for students;
- An expansion of technical and vocational training, including certification at the high school level;
- An Empower Grand Bahama micro-grant programme for entrepreneurs; $1.5 billion in investments for Grand Bahama in the pipeline; the Beautiful Grand Bahama programme, in which collaboration has led to safer communities; and Collab Grand Bahama, which fosters partnerships between the government and the private sector to bring change and progress to Grand Bahama;
- Major upgrades to our health infrastructure;
- More support for our athletes and sports programmes;
- We’re on track to pave 65 miles of road in New Providence alone this year;
- Investments in NIB to improve fairness and efficiency;
- A National School Breakfast pilot programme, which is already giving thousands of our children breakfast in their primary schools, and is ready to expand;
- New classes, camps, lessons, and programmes at our Urban Renewal Centres;
- A Youth Guard to strengthen our capacity during national emergencies, and give more young Bahamians a path forward;
- A Task Force addressing unregulated shantytowns in New Providence and Abaco, with other islands to follow;
- The selection and training of new immigration officers;
- Saturation patrols and new investments and collaboration in crime prevention;
- A juvenile detention facility;
- A cadre of officers trained to recognize and manage psychiatric issues;
- Stronger partnerships and new patrol vessels to secure our nation’s borders;
- Major new investments across our Family Islands, including new airports, and road paving in Andros, Bimini, Cat Island, Abaco, Long Island; Great Harbour Cay, and Crooked Island;
- The development of our nation’s blue carbon credits strategy; and
- A major investment in agriculture and national food security.
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