July 23, 2002

Barbados commits $10 million to roads

                 ST. MICHAEL, Barbados (AP) -- The government on Tuesday pledged more
                 than $10 million Barbadian ($5 million) to buy new equipment for an ongoing
                 project to improve roads throughout this Caribbean island.

                 With about 70 percent of Barbados' roads in disrepair, the government has set out
                 repaving several major streets and highways.

                 The government has already ordered 40 new pieces of equipment, including
                 compressors, trucks, roller, bobcats and tools, to replace old and derelict machines
                 that cannot finish the construction plans, Transport and Works Ministry Rommell
                 Marshall said.

                 In the past, the government has accused utility companies of digging up roads to
                 lay pipes or wires without repaving them properly, causing potholes and cracked
                 pavements that gets worse with rain and use by motorists.

                 "The ministry would pave new roads today, and then within a couple of weeks the
                 utilities companies want to do work to upgrade their facilities," Marshall said.

                 Marshall said the government would soon implement new legalization to limit the
                 digging that utility companies can do. He did not elaborate.

                  Copyright 2002 The Associated Press.