photo: Tim van Dijk

ORANJESTAD – After more than half a century Statia will finally get a new road-system. The State Secretary for Kingdom Affairs made this announcement during his last visit to the island.

Some Statians are more excited about the news than others. Some inhabitants would have rather seen the money go towards more important endeavors such as poverty reduction or proper governance.

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By Tim van Dijk [English subtitles available]

The island is 21 square kilometers and has a road system of 35 kilometers, all of which is covered in asphalt. The last kilometer was laid down in 1968 and no one has taken a second glance at it except for a few renovations in the eighties, according to Anthony Reid of the local LVV.

In the early eighties the road system was renovated with asphalt being laid down over the existing concrete roads. But thanks to this approach whole chunks of asphalt have disappeared, swept away during heavy downpours making the roads difficult to traverse.

New roads in July
With a public tender and both national and international road building companies on board, work will start on the main roads next month. One of these is the road to and from the airport, and to road to and from the hospital.

The proposal to redo the road system also includes plans for the collection of rain water and moving all electrical wiring below ground. There are numerous empty pipes on the island for amongst other things telephone and fiber optic cables.

The first roads should be done at the beginning of July.