(ENHANCED EDITION) National Address - Transformation & Modernization of New Providence from FNM Restoring Your Trust on Vimeo.
Nassau, Bahamas - The following is a National
Address by the Rt Hon Hubert A Ingraham, Prime Minister of the Commonwealth of The Bahamas:
and Modernization delivered on April 25th, 2011.
My Fellow Bahamians:
behalf of my wife Delores, my family and myself, I wish you and your
family a blessed and happy Easter. May this season of spiritual
renewal inspire in all of us a spirit of gratitude for our many blessings
and an equal spirit of generosity and service, particularly towards
the more vulnerable in our society.
the end of May the National Budget for 2011/12 will be presented.
At that time I will discuss in more detail the national economic outlook.
This will include job-creation and the expansion of economic opportunities
as the country continues to recover from the worst global economic downturn
in the memory of most Bahamians.
in short order, I will address the nation on crime, including the strengthening
of existing facilities and the introduction of new measures to combat
violent crime, an alarming murder rate, and a culture of criminality.
I wish to speak to you about the massive infrastructural work being
undertaken in New Providence.
new Straw Market is almost complete; its completion will make way for
the creation of a major Urban Park on the site of the tent which now
houses the Straw Market.
are simultaneously undertaking a comprehensive and systematic upgrade
of the Supreme Court Building, and the Hanzard, Senate and Parliament
buildings. And, the recently-acquired Ansbacher Building is being renovated
to better accommodate additional courts and the Supreme Court Registry.
improve the delivery of health care, we are completing upgrades to the
Accident and Emergency facilities at Princess Margaret Hospital.
A new critical care block will also be constructed at PMH at a cost
of more than $30 million.
will include an Intensive Care ward for paediatric and adult patients,
and six new operating theatres. Work is also being completed on
a new Geriatrics and Child Rehabilitation Unit at the Sandilands Rehabilitation
removal of all freight terminals from Bay Street and their relocation
to Arawak Cay is the linchpin for the various elements of the revitalization
of downtown Nassau.
relocation of the Betty K shipping operations from the centre of Nassau
to the new cargo port at Arawak Cay, ahead of schedule, has fortuitously
assisted in the early commencement of significant infrastructure upgrade
in the centre of Nassau.
are acting to improve the daily quality of life for the nearly 250,000
Bahamians and residents who live in New Providence and the several million
annual visitors to our shores.
are modernizing outdated and decaying infrastructure and installing
measures such as CCTV to help bolster public safety efforts in the fight
are helping to spur economic development generally and revitalizing
our tourism industry.
are enhancing and beautifying our capital island and its natural environment.
are expanding and enhancing open spaces, green spaces, beach areas and
parks to provide children, young people and families with safe, modern
are embarking on making the City of Nassau a modern city, showcasing
its history and heritage, because its current condition is unbecoming
of The Bahamas.
are doing all of this as efficiently and as cost-effectively as possible,
with most of these major capital works on time and within budget.
Six-legged roundabout, New Providence. (BIS Photo/Derek Smith)
Government began the New Providence Road Improvement Project in 2001,
some 10 years ago. The postponement of the completion of the project
between 2002 and 2007 has resulted in an increase in cost for the project
of approximately $50 million dollars, which is the total amount it will
cost for two of the next phases in the redevelopment of the Queen Elizabeth
are transforming New Providence and the historic City of Nassau into
more than a world-class destination. We are seeking to make our
capital island an urban centre that works in terms of basic infrastructure,
and that is a safe and inviting environment for artistic and cultural
expression with an extensive network of parks, heritage sites and windows
to the sea.
will do all of this, and much more, as we make New Providence greener
and cleaner, more beautiful and more environmentally sustainable.
Even as we appreciate the enjoyments and advantages that city living
offers, we must respond to the challenges of urbanization, inclusive
of human services and well-being, infrastructure, livability and aesthetics.
is the intention of my Government to make New Providence, the site of
our nation’s capital, clean, beautiful, sustainable and functional.
The things we build are not ends in themselves. They are the indispensable
means to improve the quality of life of the Bahamian people and add
to the enjoyment of our visitors.
My Fellow Bahamians:
continues along Blue Hill Road north of Wulff Road and south of the
Water Tower, and on Market Street, Robinson Road, Prince Charles Drive,
Marathon Road, Abundant Life Road and Soldier Road.
the installation of the new 24-inch water main is completed along Robinson
Road up to the intersection of Prince Charles Drive and Fox Hill Road,
not only will users of that corridor (pedestrians and motorists) benefit
from an improved roadway with sidewalks but residents in the eastern
end of New Providence will finally have access to improved water quality
the south, the installation of a new water main along Soldier Road will
improve water quality for communities along that corridor. The
water works scheduled along Soldier Road will commence on Tuesday, 26th
April, and take place in three phases: from Blue Hill Road to East Street,
from East Street to Abundant Life Road, and finally from Abundant Life
Road to Prince Charles Drive.
Aged water pipes to be replaced via the New Providence Airport Gateway Project. (BIS Photo)
road will be reinstated and paved at the completion of each segment
and before the commencement of the next segment of works. Additionally,
I advise that this work will be undertaken during the night, that is,
between 7.00 p.m. and 5.00 a.m. Sundays through Thursdays thereby minimizing
traffic disruptions during peak day-time traffic and on weekend nights.
last week, we signed a contract for road and utility upgrades that will
augment the transformation of the Queen Elizabeth Sports Centre into
a world class sporting and athletic complex. These upgrades are
essential to make the new Tommy A. Robinson National Stadium operational
being undertaken in the Oakes Field area include water and sewerage
upgrades to the Yellow Elder and Millennium Gardens communities and
also electrical services upgrades through the installation of new underground
improvements resulting from that contract will include the following:
An enhanced entrance
with parks and open green spaces leading from Thompson Boulevard to
the Sports Centre which will be linked to the Tonique Williams-Darling
Highway along an enhanced Yellow Elder Way;
A new road extending
from a new roundabout at the Government High School that will link the
Queen Elizabeth Sports Centre with the New Providence Highway now referred
to as Bethel Avenue.
An extension of
Moss Road will link Thompson Boulevard and Blue Hill Road, while a new
connector road will link Moss Road to the round-about at the Government
High School; and
parking areas, drainage systems, and landscaping throughout the entire
most of the new road works in and around the QE Sports Centre will be
greenfield operations with little to no impact on the present flow of
note in this regard, that improvements to the current road leading to
the Government High School will not commence until after the end of
the school year and it is anticipated that the works will be completed
ahead of school opening in September of this year.
new four lane corridor, to be named the New Providence Highway, was
constructed on a greenfield site. The highway links Saunders Beach
in the north with JFK Drive at the six-leg roundabout and continues
southward to the Tonique Williams-Darling Highway roundabout, where
it connects with the Milo Butler Highway leading to Carmichael Road.
In time the New Providence Highway will be extended to Cow Pen Road.
will soon commence the new four-lane Airport Gateway Highway, the first
phase of which will link the LPIA to the new six-leg roundabout.
the west, Bay Street is being diverted at or near the Development Bank
to facilitate the redevelopment of Cable Beach by Baha Mar. The
new diverted West Bay Street will be connected to JFK Drive by a new
connector road extending to the intersection with Gladstone Road.
improvements to a number of street junctions along West Bay Street are
the East, improvements are scheduled for a number of street junctions
along the East Bay Street corridor: East Bay/Village/ Shirley Street;
East Bay/Newgate; East Bay/Johnson Road; East Bay/Fox Hill Road; and
also at the William/Shirley Street and the Village/Soldier Road intersections.
is to be acknowledged that the presence of underground electricity cables,
some condemned, and old water mains, again some condemned, has meant
that work has had to progress carefully, deliberately, and hence slowly
so as not to disrupt those utility services even as we seek to improve
and upgrade them.
am painfully aware that these works are proving very disruptive to the
lives of many residents and business persons who live and work along
affected road corridors or who typically traverse them to and from their
am also aware that even where work is nearly complete, additional refinements
are required to improve access and parking for some business establishments.
I assure you that all concerns are recorded and will be addressed to
the extent possible to satisfy affected establishments.
is critically essential for major water and sewerage work to be undertaken
on Bay Street from Nassau Court to Mackey Street and a number of side
streets. These works can no longer be postponed. These works are
therefore set to commence on Tuesday, 26th April.
work will take place at night between 7.00 p.m. and 5.00 a.m.
Sunday to Thursday so as to minimize traffic disruptions on Friday and
the completion of each day’s schedule the necessary upgrades, backfilling,
reinstatement and cleanup of the road will be undertaken. The
works will require certain road deviations from time to time, and I
ask once again for your patience and forbearance as we seek to modernize
our capital City.
first phase of the works will affect Bay Street between Marlborough/Nassau
Court and Parliament Street. These works will take some 20 weeks
extending from 26th April to the 19th October.
second phase of the work will extend from Parliament Street to Victoria
Avenue and will be undertaken between 19th October, 2011,
and 13th March, 2012. I note that the project will
be suspended during the Christmas Season, that is, between 12th
December, 2011, and the 2nd January, 2012
third phase of the works will extend from Victoria Avenue to Mackey
Street and will take some 25 weeks beginning on the 13th
completed, Bay Street and our city centre will be at a standard appropriate
for our capital City of Nassau and will put us in a better position
to meet new challenges expected in the tourism sector.
infrastructural work we are doing is essential. We cannot allow
our capital city to fall into further decay. To do otherwise would
put at risk our economic well-being.
know that during these works many people are being inconvenienced, I
apologize to residents and businesses impacted by these necessary infrastructural
upgrades and ask for your continued patience as we seek to bring you
improved services. When it is all done every one of us will benefit
in terms of better utilities, better roads, better recreational spaces
and a better environment for expanded economic activity.
My Fellow Bahamians:
is the centre of Government. The Queen’s Representative, the
Executive, Parliament and the Judiciary are located there; so also is
our country’s financial centre and its principal harbour -- one of
the busiest cruise ports in the Caribbean. All are located in
this city, on this island of New Providence.
health of this city and of this island is clearly vital to the health
and well-being of our nation.
the heart of our nation is critical to ensuring continued growth and
security of our economy. It is more than roads, sewers and utilities;
it is the nerves and sinews, the very fabric of our national character.
That is why we rehabilitate, restore and upgrade it.
cannot truly modernize New Providence without the extensive upgrades
of these networks of roads and utilities.
efforts on capital works and road and utilities upgrades have not been
perfect; they often met problems – this was to be expected.
But our goals have been on course: to make more efficient, beautiful
and livable our island capital, home to 60% of Bahamians, and our major
tourism centre with nearly five million visitors annually.
these works are completed, Nassau will be one of the most modern, efficient
and cleanest capital cities in our Region.
City of Nassau is over 300 years old. It was in the late 17th
century that Governor Nicholas Trott renamed Charles Town as Nassau,
formally laying out the township for the first time and erecting its
the ensuing three centuries Nassau has undergone many changes moving
from gas lanterns to an electrified city and from watering holes for
carriage horses to parking for motor vehicles.
generation of Bahamians has a historic summons to preserve the essence
and, yes, magic of traditional and historic Nassau while modernizing
its infrastructure amenities and basic utilities.
is our time. This is the time to fix problems of which we have
long complained, but did not have the will to tackle. This is
the time to move from talk to action and from procrastination to determination.
determination and privilege, and indeed our obligation, is to leave
our Bahamas better than we met it and to bequeath to our children and
future generations a legacy of which we and they will be proud.
we are building a new New Providence in the most ambitious transformation
and modernization programme ever in Bahamian history. In so doing
we are honouring its history while preparing for its future.
is what the unprecedented ambition of the New Providence Transformation
and Modernization Programme is about – providing for a better future.
When all is said and done, and after the disruptions are over, and the
road and other works are complete, we will have a new capital island
in which we can take even more Bahamian pride.
alternative to the temporary disruptions is to have never begun the
work in the first place and to have allowed our infrastructure to decay
even further, choking economic growth, creating even more urban problems
and allowing the Bahamian people to live with sub- and below-standard
responsible government could not continue to follow the path of least
resistance, delay and procrastination. We had to act, and act
now to secure a better future for ourselves and our children.
carry a love for Nassau in their hearts, and in our mind’s eye and
imagination we have a vision of what we want a modern City of Nassau
to feel and look like. But what we are doing is not only visionary,
it is vision in action.
the years many people have dreamt of and planned for the revitalization
of the City of Nassau. Today, the efforts of our collective Bahamian
imagination are bearing fruit
I close I wish to recall that our capital island is named for Providence,
God’s and nature’s protective care. Indeed the word provident
is defined as providing for the future.
us ask the God of Providence to continue to bless our Bahamas and our
shared future in a spirit of love and unity.
you and good night.