Getting in shape for the royal visit

POSTED: 10/24/11 2:00 AM

GREAT BAY – St. Maarten is making an effort to be on its best when H.M. Queen Beatrix arrives on November 3. Inmates of the Pointe Blanche prison have repainted the government building, the Prince Bernhard Bridge gets a facelift it has been screaming for years, and elsewhere other beautification projects are in full swing. Photographer Milton Pieters had a look around and found that amidst all the upgrading, there is still room for improvement.

The Sucker Garden Road for instance got a serious cleaning. Workers have been busy for quite some time to clear the gutters along the road from sand, and the messy display of containers and heavy equipment near the Guana Bay Road has been straightened out. Further down the road, a business whose specialty seems to be the collection of broken down washing machines finally got its marching orders. The washing machines have been an eyesore in Sucker Garden for years, but the Queen’s visit has now finally inspired someone to truck all those wrecked appliances out of sight.

Not everything is perfect though in Sucker Garden, as Milton Pieters’ picture shows of the bus wreck that stands forlorn at the edge of the Great Salt Pond.

On the Pondfill road, insurer Ennia has followed the government’s example by painting its building in bright fresh colors.

On the Clem Labega Square, workers were seen upgrading the parking lot. Right around the corner though, in front of the RBTT building and further down the Cannegieter Street, water still rules after heavy rainfall. To make this road look presentable, the weather Gods will have to cooperate on November 3.

On her way from the airport to Philipsburg H.M. Queen Beatrix will not be able to avoid the bottleneck on Welfare Road, where an infrastructure project is steadily progressing. The work will not be finished in time for the Queen’s arrival; the projected completion date is
December 9.

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