Video: Minister David Burch Press Conference

February 18, 2021 | 4 Comments

[Updated] Minister of Public Works Lt/Col David Burch is holding a press conference this afternoon [Feb 18] to “provide an update on the Ministry’s joint initiative with BELCO to enhance the islands infrastructure.” We will have additional coverage later on and in the meantime the live video is below.

Update: The live broadcast has concluded and the 16-minute replay is below

Update 6.23pm: Minister Lt/Col David Burch said, “Good afternoon and thank you for joining me.

“I am joined this afternoon by the MP for the District MP Ianthia Simmons Wade and Belco representatives Mr. Nadir Wade – Director of Grid Management Services and Mr. Naeem Griffith.

“The Public will recall the announcement from just over a year ago that advised of the Ministry of Public Works’ and BELCO’s joint initiative to carry out a coordinated approach to road trenching. The primary objective of this was to enable BELCO to conduct significant upgrades to its network over a three year period. It was also an opportunity for other businesses and stakeholders to coordinate their efforts during this island-wide trenching exercise to ensure that all the necessary entities were prepared and ready to lay any and all underground equipment. Examples of underground equipment include cabling, piping, and extra conduits for future use. These trenching works were coordinated with stakeholders to ensure that once the trenching work is complete, the people of Bermuda will have newly paved roads that will be more durable, resilient, long-lasting and not have to be excavated again in the foreseeable future.

“I am also delighted to advise that these works have provided employment opportunities, thus further stimulating our economy. The size and scope of the BELCO project and completing it on schedule has involved enlisting private sector contractors, which in turn created jobs for other sectors.

“I’m sure all will agree this is good news, however, as is the nature of road works, there will be traffic disruptions. While these traffic delays may be an inconvenience, it is an unavoidable but necessary part of this critical work. Therefore, we will continue to give as much advance notice as possible and keep disruptions to a minimum so road users may consider taking alternate routes during this time.

“On behalf of the Government of Bermuda, BELCO and all the organisations involved in this effort, I apologise in advance for any inconvenience caused and again ask for the public’s patience and full cooperation as we continue carrying out these critical infrastructure upgrades. This short term pain will lead to long term gain.

“So when the time comes, and you find yourself sitting in traffic, frustrated with the delay, and wishing the traffic would move along, I ask that you take a moment to consider the immense benefit of these works to all road users and the general public. Following these works, we will have a far more secure, reliable, state of the art infrastructure for all, and probably most importantly – we anticipate no need for future road trenching for many years to come.

“At this time, I would like to recognise the hard work and dedication thus far of Mr. Leyton Rahman of the Ministry of Public Works, Mr. Nadir Wade and Mr. Jonathan Pedro of BELCO, who have worked together throughout this project, and I expect will continue to do so to its completion.

“I am confident that all road users and the public will be pleased with the eventual outcome and reliability.

“We are here today to announce the next phase of the project, which is to renew BELCO’s existing high voltage cables from this substation to Camp Hill. This work forms part of BELCO’s overall programme to renew its ageing infrastructure and will be carried out in 5 Phases with the 1st phase being from this location to Longford Hill.

“The existing high voltage cables are aged and past due for replacement which has resulted in several outages in the area over the last few months. Failing to replace these cables expeditiously would likely increase cable faults and outages in the west of the island.

“Alongside the BELCO works, the Ministry of Public Works will be carrying out a long desired road widening project in Warwick parish.

“Currently, Middle Road from Burnt House Hill to TN Tatem School has a narrow road width that does not allow for two buses to pass without taking extreme caution. To address this issue, the rock cliff on the southern side near Greendale Lane will be excavated to expand the width of the road and placement of a sidewalk. The Minimum roadway lane width would be 10 feet with a 4-foot sidewalk on the southern side.

“I’ve probably had more complaints from members of the general public about this stretch of road than any other. We’ve had to negotiate with land owners to acquire the necessary pieces of land to make this work possible.

“These road works and new sidewalk will be an improvement for pedestrian and the motoring public. These works are estimated to begin shortly.

“I now ask Mr. Nadir Wade from BELCO to provide some specifics on the BELCO
works.

“Thank you.”

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Comments (4)

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  1. Comfortably numb says:

    How about ‘enhancing’ the steps at the public entrance to Elbow Beach, Colonel?

    • ultrawide says:

      To be honest, I haven’t read the whole story – just the fist few lines and that was enough, so forgive me for not reading it all or keeping an open mind, but what company in the world would any private company want to partner with the Ministry of W&E on any job. Certainly, it cant be for efficiency?

      Minister Burch – you drive the same roads as I do so it should not be a surprise to you that there are several roads that have overgrowth stretching 2+ feet into the roads and other roads that haven’t been swept in so long that small brush and tall grass grows wildly pushing cars onto the other side of the road.

      On top of that, several safety barriers are broken on the shoreline are broken and missing altogether.

      The OBA had someone rebuilding at ShellyBay and you literally demolished it MID-PROJECT with a press conference saying you had a better plan. 3 years later- NOTHING?

      Residents in the East End repaired and rebuilt a beautiful dock using their own money because they were tired of waiting for government. You literally had it demolished – just because you could! Has it been rebuilt, better by W&E?

      You had a press conference and tried to flex your muscle on Mission Road – but many years later, has anything really changed?

      So Minister Burt, while this might be a good idea in theory, we all know that a job that would take Belco and other private partners to do, will now take 4 times as long due to W&E involvement. Fix the problems you have within W&E and get us back on track before doing another press conference!

      Stop having PRESS CONFERENCES talking about what your going to do, and instead spend those few hours each week, making sure stuff gets done.

  2. sandgrownan says:

    Trash hasn’t been collected in Smiths today. How about fixing that?

    Minister “who gets things done”.

  3. Southampton Resident says:

    And what about the steps at Elbow Beach – the Minister was reported as saying that the public will have to be patient as they are on the list and will be ready for summer. But – he didn’t say which summer!

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