Ministry Statement: Cemetery Road Re-Opening

January 6, 2021

“The Government is confident that working with BELCO, we can devise a solution that will allow it to safely carry out its operations while providing the public continued full access to Cemetery Road,” the Government said today.

A Government spokesperson said, “The public will recall the Ministry of Public Works advisory from December 2018 announcing the closure of Cemetery Road, between Cemetery Lane and the bridge to Gorham’s Limited, to facilitate construction of BELCO’s North Power Plant [NPP]. The road closure, originally scheduled for just over one year, continued for just over two years.

“Recently, the announcement was made that Cemetery Road is reopened for public access.

“The Ministry would like to take this opportunity to provide the public with some background information on the decision to reopen Cemetery Road.

“As previously stated, the road was closed solely to assist BELCO in the construction of the NPP. This decision was made with the understanding of all parties impacted by the closure, that upon completion of the project, the road would be reopened for public access.

“Despite this understanding, the Ministry can confirm that a request was received from BELCO to have Cemetery Road permanently closed. The reason provided in support of the permanent closure was primarily around safety.

“The issue was that on completion of the North Power Plant, Cemetery Road crossings by BELCO staff, which included transportation of material and equipment, would increase from 15 per day to over 120, thus creating a safety hazard to BELCO staff and the motoring public.

“While the Ministry understands and appreciates the need for safety, and the increased crossings may raise the level of risk, we must also take into account the impact on all area residents and businesses.

“The Ministry can confirm receipt of numerous objections from area residents and businesses to the permanent closure of Cemetery Road. Furthermore, the Ministry was advised that the road closure negatively impacted foot traffic and the revenue generated by businesses in the area, with at least one closing its physical location.

“To decide on the best course of action, Minister Burch along with other Ministry representatives engaged in lengthy discussions with BELCO and area stakeholders to reach a compromise that is fair and takes into consideration the needs of all involved.

“As it stands now, the Government is confident that working with BELCO, we can devise a solution that will allow it to safely carry out its operations while providing the public continued full access to Cemetery Road. The Principal Highways Engineer is working directly with BELCO staff to develop a solution.”

“I am grateful and thank all those who contributed to the meaningful discussions surrounding this issue. It allowed us to take into account the many perspectives to this issue so that we can all be fully aware and make informed decisions that best meet the needs of the area residents, businesses and the people of Bermuda,” said Minister of Public Works Lt/Col David Burch.

“I strongly believe that it is only through open communication and dialogue, that we can resolve issues and devise solutions that are in the best interest of all. Some of the solutions under consideration include the installation of rumble strips, speed bumps and traffic lights, to the possibility of a railroad type crossing.”

“Whatever solution is implemented, the Ministry can confirm that Cemetery Road will remain open to the public. I would like to express my thanks to the residents and businesses for their patience during this construction.”

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Comments (2)

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  1. Loren says:

    Come on Caines. You PLP and your deal with Algonquin and ex Ascendant board struck a long time ago. Surely you can sweet talk your colleagues to close the road

  2. Joe Bloggs says:

    How interesting. A ” Government spokesperson” said all that, not a Cabinet Minister.

    I guess the PLP Government does not want to get too close to Belco after letting it get sold to the Canadians.