History continues to be made at the Argyle International Airport site as the Government of St. Vincent and the Grenadines and the International Airport Development Company (IADC) continue, what at first seemed near impossible, to build an international airport at Argyle. Over the last three years there have been major accomplishments, and this trend continues in 2011.
After nearly one year of negotiations, IADC and the Overseas Engineering and Construction Company (OECC) signed the contract valued at US$26.5 million for the construction of the Argyle airport passenger terminal building and electrical sub-station building. This was a highly anticipated event, one that Vincentians had eagerly awaited. Hence, when it was announced that the ground breaking ceremony was to take place on August 7th 2011, many persons journeyed to Argyle to witness the symbolic start of the construction of the terminal building. Actual construction work on the terminal building began five days after the ground breaking ceremony.
While this was taking place, work continued on the removal and leveling of Fort and McConnie Yammie Hills. Much of the rocks in this area has been blasted and excavated down to the level of the runway. Work in this area will continue in 2012.
Of great significance as well was the completion of the box culverts in the 1st kilometer of the project and the start of construction of a second drainage system in the 2nd kilometer.
In preparation for the pavement works, our engineers, with the help of environmentalists from Cuba, have identified several suitable areas on site for the location of Asphalt, Concrete and Stone Crushing Plants. IADC has decided to purchase these equipment and to hire an in-house work force of 70 persons to do the asphalt and concrete pavement works on the project thereby keeping the cost of these installations at a minimum.
The year 2012 is expected to be a watershed year for IADC as it revves up the construction engine to ensure that the project remains on schedule for completion by the end of 2013.
Included among the works for 2012 are: (a) the installation of the Asphalt, Concrete and Stone Crushing Plants, (b) the start of pavement works for the runway and aprons, (c) the removal of the Catholic Church, Argyle Apartments, P’tani Resorts, (d) the cutting of the hill on which the church and Argyle Apartments stand, (e) the construction of a set of culverts under the runway for the Yambou River, (f) the continuation of work on McConnie Yammie Hill, Fort Hill, Colonel Anderson Hill and Johnson Hill, (g) the completion of the drainage system in the 2nd kilometer.
Additionally, work will begin on the creation of embankments in the 3rd kilometer of the project, as well as work on the sea defenses at the North Eastern end of the runway. Work will also continue on the construction of the passenger terminal Building, while tenders are expected to go out for the construction of the other landside facilities including, the Fire and Rescue Station, the control tower and cargo terminal Buildings.
Attention will be paid to the completion of the Mt. Pleasant and Argyle Gardens Roads to provide good quality access to persons residing and visiting those areas.
Indeed much work lies ahead of us, but much has also been done. As we close 2011, the IADC says thanks to everyone for continued support on this most important project, as we work hand in hand for the future economic development of our beautiful country.