Artist impression of the proposed West Bridge in Roseau
Artist impression of the proposed West Bridge in Roseau

Government has planned an elaborate ground-breaking ceremony on Friday afternoon starting from 4.00pm for the construction of a new West Bridge in Roseau.

Dominica's leading band, the Swinging Stars, is scheduled to provide entertainment.

Recently, the NSG Management and Technical Services Limited of Barbados signed an EC$18,182,400 contract with the Government of Dominica for constructing the bridge.

The infrastructural works includes demolition of the existing structure and its foundations, the construction of a new two-lane bridge on new foundations and approach apron roads; as well as connection to the Roseau River walls, construction of a river training wall and dredging of the river.

The project is expected to be completed within twelve months.

Opposition politicians as well as the Dominican builders and contractors contend that the project was not tendered and that government has given a foreign company preference over Dominican companies to construct the bridge.

In a press release issued today, the Dominica Freedom Party said that though it recognizes the importance of the reconstruction of the West Bridge in Roseau the nation's capital it has some concerns.

These include "government procurement practices and the lack of transparency in the negotiations for the financing and tendering of the project".

The DFP said: "This coupled with the planned lavish ground breaking ceremony in the post Erika period where several Dominicans are still suffering from the impact of the storm leaves much concern of government irresponsible approach in managing the effect of the country.

"It begs the question whether this Dominica Labour Administration has its priorities in order and Dominicans should hold them accountable for wasting scarce resources".

A press conference is scheduled for Monday 25 April organised by the Joint Consultative Committee of the Construction Sector (JCCCS), with its constituent member associations, DAPE, DSA and BCAD to discuss the project and the tendering process