St. Maarten minister wants rating system for road works

POSTED: 08/5/11 1:11 PM

Companies face disqualification from bids

St. Maarten – Minister of Housing, Physical Planning, Environment and Infrastructure Theodore Heyliger has requested his ministry to create a rating system for the road works that the islands two road building companies – Windward Roads and MNO Vervat – produce. The system could eventually determine whether a company is allowed to bid on an infrastructure project.

“We are nowhere close to the kind quality that I think is necessary,” Heyliger said at Wednesday’s Council of Ministers press briefing.

The desire to create the system stems from a belief by the Minister that the country is not getting the quality of road that it is paying. The system will cover roads that have a properly built foundation and drainage system and require that companies give guarantees on how long the road should last before it needs to be repaired.

“I am a simple person who wants to see guarantees of at least five to 10 years, especially if we’re going to put in a proper road. I will take the issue that some of the roads that we have, when you do some repairs, you realize we’ve thrown asphalt on top of sand. Those, we won’t ask for a guarantee, but those that are properly built with the proper drainage and the proper foundation should have guarantees in place,” the minister said.

At the moment the system allows both contractors to bid no matter how well or how poorly they did on their previous assignment. Under the new system a company would be disqualified from bidding if they do not meet the quality standard that government sets as supervisor or the work.

“We need to start getting the quality that is given to other countries. It can’t be that we spend 5 million on a road and then within six months there’s a pot hole and then there’s a major fight with government that the road was not done the right way,” Heyliger said.

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