“The critical point is that the tender for installation is different from the tender for supply of culverts”
(CMR) The National Roads Authority (NRA) has clarified what they say is erroneous and incomplete information circulating in the public regarding upcoming expansion road works for the Airport Connector Road. A slight delay has been caused because the anticipated works for the dyke portion are more complex than initially anticipated requiring a re-tendering of the installation of the culverts.
Another media house apparently has misunderstood the process of acquiring and installing of pipes for the upcoming road works. NRA clarified that piping is actually a two-step process that requires procurement at each stage of the process.
The project for the road expansion is to be completed in two stages:
Stage one would be from the Esterley Tibbetts Highway to Allie B Drive and would necessitate going over the MRCU Dyke with over four rows of 4-foot diameter culvert where the road crosses over the existing MRCU drainage channel/dyke. The scope of this work was initially considered minimal and was put out to tender in May 2021.
A business case is not legally required for works that fall under a certain amount.
However, after receiving bids it was realized that a more comprehensive scope of works was required which would require the NRA to re-tender the bid and include a fully comprehensive business case. The complexity of installing piping in the dyke includes de-watering the dyke, piping it in, and then backfilling to build the road on top.
It is believed that this complex project can only be completed by a handful of island companies and would take around three to four months inclusive of the tendering and installation process. It is anticipated that this stage will be completed by the end of 2022.
Stage two includes road works from Allie B Drive to Sparky Drive. This portion of the road is extremally silty marl and required a geotechnical study to confirm the ground conditions can facilitate the anticipated road works.
A preliminary geotechnical study has been completed. However, the NRA will now cost out the various options along with their construction timelines and decide which option is most cost effective option for building on the silty marl where the old Jay Bodden Marl Pit used to be located.
This aspect of the project might not be started for at least 12 months.
Contrary to come misconceptions in the public arena, the tendering for the supply of the culverts and the actual installation are separate processes. Core & Main Inc., headquartered in St. Louis, Missouri, a U.S. distributor of water, sewer and fire protection products won the bid for the supply portion of the project.
It was further revealed that Decco Ltd. is managing the project.
CMR also contacted Alric Lindsay, chairman of the board of directors of the NRA, who confirmed Howard's account for the delay in the completion of the Airport Connector Road.
“The NRA has a number of ongoing projects. In order to keep members of the public up to date, the board has asked the managing director to continue to do public meetings across Grand Cayman and start to publish the status of major projects on the NRA website.