Got TIPS or BREAKING NEWS? Please call 1-284-442-8000 direct/can also WhatsApp same number or Email ALL news;                               ads call 1-284-440-6666

Gov’t working to secure funding for 38 miles of roadworks– Hon Kye M. Rymer

Government has committed to repairing 38 miles of road in the Virgin Islands. Photo: VINO/File
Minister for Communications & Works, Hon Kye M. Rymer (R7) says despite some remedial works ongoing on the roads in the Virgin Islands (VI), the government is still looking to secure major funding for its massive 38 Miles of roadworks to come. Photo: GIS/File
Minister for Communications & Works, Hon Kye M. Rymer (R7) says despite some remedial works ongoing on the roads in the Virgin Islands (VI), the government is still looking to secure major funding for its massive 38 Miles of roadworks to come. Photo: GIS/File
Meanwhile, Premier and Minister of Finance who was on the sidelines of the event said the commitment to fix the roads came in the budget speech and that financing will be secured via a bank loan. Photo: GIS/Facebook
Meanwhile, Premier and Minister of Finance who was on the sidelines of the event said the commitment to fix the roads came in the budget speech and that financing will be secured via a bank loan. Photo: GIS/Facebook
ROAD TOWN, Tortola, VI– Minister for Communications and Works Hon Kye M. Rymer (R7) says despite some remedial works ongoing on the roads in the Virgin Islands (VI), the government is still looking to secure major funding for the repair of 38 miles of road.

Hon Rymer made the announcement following questions from the media during a press conference on April 18, 2024. 

“Roads affect us all indeed, and that is why I made sure that we had some segment in this press conference about roads and I thank the premier for making $1.8 million available so that we can do some remedial work.”

Hon Rymer added, “In terms of the 38 miles of road, I think the Ministry of Finance, they are doing their assessment of the tender right now and I think they'll be working to secure the funding as I mentioned for those 38 miles of roads.”

Tenders for the Asphalt paving of 38 miles of primary roads in conformity with an internationally acceptable standard went out in October 2023.

Meanwhile, Premier and Minister of Finance Dr the Hon Natalio D. Wheatley (R7), who was on the sidelines of the event, said the commitment to fix the roads came in the Budget Speech and that financing will be secured via a bank loan.

Financing will come through loans - Premier

“Just to say, we did make a commitment in the Budget Speech… that we will be seeking loan financing... the banks would notice a request for proposal coming out shortly, probably within the next 2-3 weeks.

“The banks [will] put forward what the terms would be for that particular loan, and then of course we'll go from there in terms of the process of securing that loan. I did say in the budget speech that we'll be [borrowing] up to $100 million, and a major part of that money will be dedicated to fixing our infrastructure needs,” he added.

Some 38 miles of road repairs across the Virgin Islands were announced in 2023 under the Government of Premier Dr The Hon Natalio D. Wheatley (R7) after the Government received criticism from the public and Members of the Opposition on the state of VI's infrastructure.

19 Responses to “Gov’t working to secure funding for 38 miles of roadworks– Hon Kye M. Rymer”

  • CGB resident (19/04/2024, 14:47) Like (24) Dislike (0) Reply
    Maybe throw in the music fest money. Might get the ball rolling. Oh wait we need a big drunken party before upgrading roads. Shame on me
  • Guest (19/04/2024, 16:05) Like (31) Dislike (0) Reply
    As long as we keep talking about repairs and paving we will never get the problem fixed. The roads need re-engineering and building out before putting down asphalt on the existing problem.
    • @guest (19/04/2024, 18:35) Like (6) Dislike (0) Reply
      To Guest, you are on point with re-engineering the roads and building them out. I’m going to borrow a line from E. Leonard on failed roads, “The real fix for a failed road is reconstruction.
  • justin (19/04/2024, 18:30) Like (3) Dislike (1) Reply
    fraser of premier maybe he might have more interest in fixing the place
  • East Side (19/04/2024, 18:33) Like (8) Dislike (0) Reply
    The government need start road work from east this is where the road is very bad an most important people travelling from the airport after landing , can have proper roads an no proper drains an sorry to say but need outside engineers for road building in the bvi
    • @East Side (21/04/2024, 09:56) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
      True, the East Side is the gateway into the territory through TBLIA, the major airport in the BVI. First impressions are important. A bad starting point is not a good beginning. It is easier to recover from a good beginning which falls off than a bad beginning which may improve , for bad experiences are lasting. Good functional roads are visitors expectation. In defense of local civil engineers, civil engineer’s principles are the same whereever one attends school, ie, Russia, Europe, Asia, South America, US, Timbuktu, Australia, Canada, Mexico, Antartica, etc. However, without the resources, support, those principles cannot be optimally applied. For the most part, it is not the local engineers part, it is the elected officials who lacked the technical expertise but has the power to influence decision. Give local engineers to do the jobs and watch them work. Set the expectations and hold them work. Put an engineer in charge of public works, preferably an experienced civil engineer.
  • pat (19/04/2024, 18:55) Like (1) Dislike (0) Reply
    So kye fooled us again
  • Hmm (19/04/2024, 19:23) Like (1) Dislike (1) Reply
    This asphalt work is going into one mans hand as usual. It never stops what about the concrete works on roads that need repairing and re-paving what about petty contracts to drive the small construction industry.
  • annudda2cents (19/04/2024, 20:02) Like (19) Dislike (0) Reply
    What I think needs to be done first and foremost is the complete re-engineering of the Territory's water and sewerage distribution systems. After this is done, then, and only then, should we entertain serious conversations about re-engineering the road network across the Virgin Islands. Failure to take this approach would mean digging up, and patching up the roads, costing us millions, if not billions of dollars for naught.
  • 2024 (20/04/2024, 03:39) Like (1) Dislike (0) Reply
    we are at a crossroad; is the skills available in the country to fix the public roads correctly

    It is far more to the process of repairing our public roads than covering the existing structures with asphalt

  • Double Party (20/04/2024, 08:06) Like (9) Dislike (0) Reply
    August festival just around the corner and we spending $670,000.00 on Musik fest one month before. That could fix a lot of miles of road
  • The Lorna Way.. (20/04/2024, 08:12) Like (9) Dislike (0) Reply
    The people are fools.Just Talk a good talk, make good promises, give them good hope, then come with good excuses. .Only Britain can safe us from these professional promisers, .
  • E. Leonard (20/04/2024, 09:54) Like (3) Dislike (0) Reply
    all residents in the ( British) Virgin Islands (VI) benefit directly from accesible, functional, quality, well-designed, well-constructed, well-maintained and repaired and adequately funded road network. Further, road design, construction, maintenance and repair is costly; the average cost to construct a lane mile can run in excess of $1.2M ( it varies by locale). Consequently, the investment and the work, the time, etc., should be invested upfront to optimize the outcome, get value for money, achieve users/ customers satisfaction, etc. Moreover, vehicle owners, heavy equipment operators, road users in general,etc., are dissatisfied with the roads condition; the roads seemed in a deteriorated state. A smooth/steep road is not necessarily a good road, especially if the underlying subgrade, subbase, base, and surface layers are weak.

    Moreover, to enhance and improve the current state of the road network will require a new redesign, , construction, maintenance, repair, etc, philosophy, mindset, etc. What is needed in this new philosophy a) raising the subgrade out of water table, especially along the coast , and stabilizing it, b) improve quality of subbase, if used, c) improve quality of base, ensuring it is ‘ proof rolled’ tested before laying the surface course, ensuring surface course has the right proportion of ingredients, at right minimum temperature, etc. Further, a major cause of premature road failure is a) poor or no center line crown, b) poor cross slope of road ( typically 2%), c) poor drainage, ie, run-on, run-off, ponding, etc. ( attention must be paid to drainage off the roadway, and along the sides);d) eliminating or improving some horizontal and vertical curves, e) improving road signage and markings.

    Roads are constructed with a design lifecycle; however, to attain that design lifecycle requires robust, religious, periodic maintenance, ie, crack sealing, seal coating, overlaying, minimizing cutting into road, conducting potholes and other repairs in a timely manner, maintaining drainage ditches along road sides. What will the foregoing provide for residents ?

    Firstly, it will reduce vehicle owners operating cost and improved driving experience, reduce accidents, improve life of roads, reduce operating cost, reduce replacement cost, improve aesthetics, improve national image and visitor experience, improve residents quality of life and standard of living, etc. Clearly, this will require additional funding? How will it be funded?

    Investing properly on roads is an investment which has huge return on investment. I’m making a BIG assumption that the territory has a relative low debt to GDP ratio probably under 20%.So the territory has the opportunity for prudent borrowing to fund roads and other major capital projects needs. Such a loan can be for a long term 20+ years with sunset clauses. Further, this suggestion will be controversial, ie, vehicle, equipment etc owners can be assessed a road tax.
    • Public vs. Private Sector View (20/04/2024, 12:07) Like (3) Dislike (0) Reply
      To E. Leonard, clearly you have at least a book knowledge about roads; don’t know what hands on experience you bring to the table..Nonetheless, you are looking at things through the public sector, private sector lens.. The public sector don’t have to compete, so it is easy for it to assess an extra fee or tax here and there, not having to worrying about the impact on customers. Your proposing a vehicle, equipment owners, etc road users tax would be burdensome, heaping tax upon tax. Keeping it real, yes, road tax is assessed in other locale But the long suffering poor taxpayers have had enough with having its money taken with very little to show for it..
    • Road Engineer (20/04/2024, 21:03) Like (3) Dislike (0) Reply
      @E. Leonard, BVI roads are poorly design but there is a history to it. Our roads , eg, Bell Vue, Ridge Road, Great Mountain, Meyers Roads, etc all follow foot, horse/donkey/mule. And at the beginning of improved roads, the roads were not design. Instead, they were smooth off with a bull dozer and asphalt. Further, roads are steep as hell though BVI is relatively hill.The network should have design in circular pattern to minimize the steep climb, putting strain on vehicles, and allowing access to property (land). The road network is not effectively interconnect. Agree that the system needs to be redesign but at this stage it will be a monumental challenge. The other area(s) which needs to be looked at is drainage, road elevation, etc.
  • Sam (20/04/2024, 14:45) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    Didn’t Mark Vanterpool access 60+ million dollars from the CDB as minister to fix these same roads? Our issue here is lack of accountability when it comes to public funds. If these jokers that we keep electing were as keen on improving the community as they have been in improving their personal circumstances, the BVI would be a place to marvel at. But instead, all we have to show is a failing infrastructure.
    • Disinterested (20/04/2024, 18:42) Like (1) Dislike (0) Reply
      To Sam, if true where did the money go? Is the $60M+ part of the territory’s national debt? Is it not there a legislative edict that purports money must be spent for its authorized and appropriated purpose(s) unless repurposed by the Legislating body? Should not Accounting should have a record of how, when, what, where, etc the money was spent? Was the the money spent/wasted on a few way overpriced projects? $60M can/should have gone a long way in fixing a number of miles of road, assuming a $1M per mile? A proper accounting should/must be given on and about the $60M. The Ministry of Transportation, Utilities, Works, and Communications should be able to account for the loan.
    • Lessness (21/04/2024, 09:40) Like (1) Dislike (0) Reply
      I’m sick and tired of being sick and tired of the governing Lessness both government and opposition. They less in getting projects started; they less in executing projects. They less in prioritizing expenditures, ie, music fetes over critical projects. They less in tracking and accounting for public expenditures. They less in conducting a census on a 1x4 territory? They less in protecting the health and safety of residents, eg, incinerator at Pockwood Pond. They less in keeping critical system(s) at hospital operational, eg, air conditioning and ventilation system. They less in filling potholes. I’m sick of listing all the things needing improvement. What are they good at? Old talk, slick used salespeople talk, putting on music festivals, getting dress to come to work to rest, etc. Fix the damn roads properly, getting value for money. The window of opportunity is closing and fast.
  • Mr Governor (26/04/2024, 17:36) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    The whole bvi not just tola , vg & Anegada too

Create a comment

Create a comment

Disclaimer: Virgin Islands News Online (VINO) welcomes your thoughts, feedback, views, bloggs and opinions. However, by posting a blogg you are agreeing to post comments or bloggs that are relevant to the topic, and that are not defamatory, liable, obscene, racist, abusive, sexist, anti-Semitic, threatening, hateful or an invasion of privacy. Violators may be excluded permanently from making contributions. Please view our declaimer above this article. We thank you in advance for complying with VINO's policy.

Follow Us On

Disclaimer: All comments posted on Virgin Islands News Online (VINO) are the sole views and opinions of the commentators and or bloggers and do not in anyway represent the views and opinions of the Board of Directors, Management and Staff of Virgin Islands News Online and its parent company.