Infrastructure Progress Post Hurricane Dorian

The Compass - Destruction in the East
The Compass - Destruction in the East

By Abria Cooper

Over the past year the government has continued rebuilding infrastructure in Grand Bahama post hurricane Dorian.  The Office of the Prime Minister (OPM) revealed information regarding the rebuilding of the island’s prominent structures since the storm.

According to the OPM about $4.5 million in contracts were awarded in June 2020 for major reconstruction to 15 schools in Grand Bahama, representing the largest rebuilding and restoration project for schools ever and providing some 275 construction jobs. This project ongoing will be completed in the next few weeks.

$21 million has been allocated for the phased redevelopment of the Rand Memorial Hospital. Work is steadily progressing with demolition, new construction, additions, and renovations. Rand Memorial Hospital Restoration, started on April 29th, 2020, and is scheduled to end on the

September 29th, 2020. It covers the main entrance, foyer, pharmacy, admissions and pediatrics; and it is currently 80 percent completed.

The Rand Memorial Hospital Restoration, Part B started on April 29th, 2020 and is scheduled for completion in October 2020; it includes the Medical, Surgical, Step-Down, and Intensive Care Units; and it is currently 65 percent completed.

The Rand Memorial Hospital Restoration Part C project is expected to be completed in November 2020; the project scope will encompass the East Wing, Public Corridor, the Healing Gardens and Chapel; and it is currently 45 percent completed.

The Rand Memorial Hospital Restoration of the Main Operating Theatre Suites, Post Anesthesia Unit and Central Sterile Supplies Department is currently 95 percent completed.

The Rand Memorial Hospital COVID-19 Program incorporates three projects: the COVID-19 Infectious Disease Unit; the Infectious Disease Unit Cancer Association project; and the completion of the Kitchen Cafeteria and is scheduled to end on the September 3rd, 2020.

Currently, this project is 98 percent completed. The Infectious Disease Unit Cancer Association project is scheduled to end by September 25th, 2020. This project is currently 85 percent completed. The Kitchen Cafeteria Completion project is 90 percent completed.

By early September, the Infectious Disease Unit at the Rand Memorial Hospital is expected to be ready for occupancy. By the end of October 2020, renovations to Pediatrics, Pharmacy, Admissions, the Lobby, Doctor’s Offices, On-Call and Nurses’ Suite, the Morgue and the surrounding corridors and other works for each space are scheduled to be completed.

Members of the media were given a firsthand view of the hospital’s (RMH) renovation progress on Friday, May 1st, 2020.

The Minister of State for Disaster Preparedness, Recovery and Reconstruction, the Hon. Iram Lewis, Member of Parliament for Central Grand Bahama conducted tour of the site that afternoon.

Terrence Cartwright, Lead Project Manager led the tour throughout the facility. He shared that they are utilizing a fast tracking design process similar to the South Beach Center, which is the central confession disease unit for Nassau or New Providence, and that project is being completed in three phases.

He stated that they have completed two of those phases. The first phase gave 10 beds, and the second phase is will result in 28 to 30 beds.

Given the current COVID-19 pandemic, Cartwright noted that they took similar situations into consideration during renovations.

In Grand Bahama they are building in modular construction attached to the main hospital, but they have also outfitted the Council Association building to be able to handle 6 private rooms, individual rooms and two wards of five each.

“So they would have 23 beds that facilitate what needs to be done. The things that are happening is the search teams have beat balancing, maintaining, so it’s given us a chance to do saving things that we weren’t able to do but be able to have to fast track those,” he said.

Cartwright emphasized that they are preparing for the future as well as the present time.

He explained that his team is looking at organizations such as the Center for Disease Control (CDC), and the World Health Organization to learn how to manage with an infection disease unit within an environment along with renovating existing services.

Cartwright revealed that he and his team are looking at the hospital reopening in next three to four months. To this end they are ensuring that everything is done properly.

“We’re meeting every day meeting with all the factors of the architects, all the engineers, all the support authority, places to make sure that there’s any slippage or any issues that come up with. There’s a code violation we could fix that until I get there and then so you looking, we’ve cut down about at least month off that I’m going to be doing,” he said.

The Fishing Hole Road Bridge has been completed and officially opened. The $9.2 million construction sits 12 ft. above sea level, has a life-span of 50 years and has been built durable to withstand powerful future storms.

The Office of the Prime Minister, Grand Bahama, has been provided with the funding to completely rebuild the McLean’s Town Administrative Complex in conjunction with The Ministry of Disaster Preparedness, Management & Reconstruction. The Complex in East Grand, which  housed the Royal Bahama Police Force, as well as ferry service offices supporting inter-island travel between Grand Bahama and Abaco.

Initial emergency cleanup and road works were carried out in West End, McClean’s Town, Freetown, Grand Bahama Highway and High Rock. Currently a sea wall is being designed and scoped for High Rock to provide coastal road protection. This year we will complete the reconstruction of approximately 8 miles of road in East, Central and West Grand Bahama. The works will comprise hotmix asphalt at a cost of $6.1 million.

Temporary repairs were completed at the Freeport Post Office following Hurricane Dorian.  Major renovations costing approximately cost $3,300,000 will commence this month for the full restoration of the Post Office.

The first floor of the Harold DeGregory Building was completed destroyed and flooded. Today the building’s first floor has been completely restored.

The government is continuing discussions with Hutchison Ports along with the Grand Bahama Port Authority with the view to finalizing an agreement on the best way forward in rebuilding a world-class Grand Bahama Airport. In the interim, a temporary structure is indeed open and fully functional, operating regular daily international and domestic flights. Work continues to proceed on the further enhancement of the temporary facility.


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