The Public Works Department is in receipt of an asphalt distributor trailer, an asphalt paver, a 10-ton roller, a cold milling machine, two skid steer loaders and a 60-ton asphalt mixing plant. The equipment was purchased from Wuhan Kudat Industry & Trade Co. Ltd of China at a cost of $789,250.00.
Minister for Communications and Works Honourable Mark Vanterpool said the purchasing of the new equipment is an important one for the Territory.
“We desperately needed the equipment because the Asphalt Plant we had before was about 35 years old and has incurred exorbitant expenses with regards to high maintenance and repair costs, so we are looking forward to when this new Asphalt Plant becomes fully operational,” he said.
He stated that the purchase will enable the Public Works Department to respond more effectively with upgrading and maintaining roads.
Honourable Vanterpool said that Government will no longer fix roads by simply applying asphalt, which is sometimes compromised, in a short period, by heavy rains or traffic. The objective is to resurface the roads properly for the long term.
Honourable Vanterpool stated that he was particularly excited about the cold milling machine which is the first machine of its kind in the Territory. It will be used to remove and reprocess old asphalt on the road turning it into a sub base material. This material will be placed on the road as a base for new asphalt, thus effectively saving Government thousands of dollars.
Minister Vanterpool reiterated that the primary function of the Public Works Department is to execute infrastructure development projects as well as to maintain existing public structures.
He noted that in order to ensure that the Territory’s road infrastructure conforms to its developmental demands, it is imperative that the Department be sufficiently equipped with the necessary resources to execute its mandate.
Government remains committed to the continued development and maintenance of road networks in the Territory in support of an enhanced community life for every resident and visitor to the Virgin Islands.