Feb 11 - Government: Road Resurfacing Is “Carefully Programmed”

The Government has said that the GSD’s Transport Spokesman, Trevor Hammond will be pleased to learn that the time is now fast approaching for the resurfacing of certain sections of roads in Gibraltar to become viable.

A statement continued: “It beggars belief that the GSD should be continuously calling for the channelling and hence squandering of taxpayers’ money into the resurfacing of roads, knowing full well that these very expensive projects would be generally short lived as a result of major road works that are ongoing.

“In fact, had the GSD had their way, Mr Hammond would have begun resurfacing roads many months ago in the height of the busiest period of construction and investment into Gibraltar, something which should be seen as extremely positive at such a time, and these same roads would have been faced with rapid degradation. This would have undoubtedly resulted in a massive waste of taxpayers’ money and would have meant going against the professional advice of experts within the Government’s technical departments.

“Notwithstanding, HMGoG has continued to work on other “quieter” stretches of road. To this end, and following the completion of Plata Vila, major resurfacing works are presently been carried out within the south district, specifically along Upper Witham’s Road and St. Joseph’s Road after having successfully completed resurfacing works to Rodger’s Road.

“Localised repair works have also been ongoing throughout all other roads addressing potholes and other road defects which are common, especially during inclement weather.

“The Highways section of TSD have fully assessed Gibraltar’s roads, paying specific attention to ongoing construction works. Furthermore, TSD have been liaising with the utility companies to cross reference any essential or scheduled infrastructural works so as to try to ensure that any potential expensive resurfacing works are not dissected and breeched by cabling or ducting works, again destroying the integrity of the roads’ surface layer.

“Within the next 3 months, plans are underway to start carrying out resurfacing works to some of the roads which are now seeing the tail-end of major construction works. Quay 29 of King’s Wharf, Mid-Town, Ocean Spa Plaza, and the regeneration of Glacis Estate are now entering their final phases. To this end, it is envisaged that resurfacing works will shortly be carried out along but nor limited to stretches of Queensway, Glacis Road and Winston Churchill Avenue. The process is presently at a very advanced planning stage.

“Projects of this magnitude cannot be carried out in haste, without taking heed of factors that would lead to rapid degradation of expensive works just to keep the Opposition happy.

“HMGoG follows and takes the advice of those responsible to advise it technically, that is the Technical Services Department.

“Although these works will be planned carefully, taking into consideration the potential of creating significant disruption, especially when major roads are being resurfaced, disruption will clearly be unavoidable. HMGoG expects that road users will be patient and understanding during the process of the works. Announcements will be made shortly in this regard.”

The Minister for Infrastructure & Planning, Paul Balban, said, “HMGoG does not allow roads to deteriorate for the sake of it. There is a clear reasoning behind the timing of works in order to find a balance between keeping roads aesthetically pleasing and functional without them becoming dangerous. We also need to co-ordinate with the scheduled work of utility companies so as to ensure that road works are not repeated. In this way, we best manage the taxpayer’s money and minimise disruption to traffic.”