The Region Six Regional Democratic Council (RDC) has expressed concern over the rehabilitation work currently undertaken on the East Bank Berbice access road.The issue attracted a heated debate on Thursday when the RDC met. The $1.2 billion project is being undertaken by the Public Infrastructure Ministry, and should see a new road being constructed from Marks Bridge to Everton, covering 5.5 kilometres. Back in 2017, Public Infrastructure Minister David Patterson had acknowledged that residents had been on the protest line since 2009, demanding the new road. He had said the project would no longer be funded by the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) as had initially been announced, but by the Public Infrastructure Ministry (MPI) under the Special Projects Unit of that Ministry.Sixteen months after its launch, Region Six Councillors have expressed dissatisfaction with the project, and Regional Vice Chairman Dennis DeRoop is claiming that it is not the same project that had been stated by Minister Patterson back in 2017.“I can’t understand the logic of what is happening with this project. I am foreseeing that by the time we complete this project, we would spend twice as much as the IDB was going to spend on the road,” DeRoop related.Minister Patterson had said the MPI would save taxpayers $1 billion since the IDB was loaning the country $2.2 billion.DeRoop told the RDC he had believed that Government was trying to save money. Referring to the design which the IDB had approved and was funding under the PPP administration, DeRoop said it was an immaculate one.“It is a design that had heavy steel frames and concrete for the drains, and the light poles (were) made of steel. We are not seeing that. They have also reduced the width of the road from what the IDB design had. By the time they are finished, they would (have spent) twice as much as the IDB would have spent,” DeRoop posited.The East Bank Berbice Road currently supports two lanes of traffic from New Amsterdam to Mara. The road provides access to both the adjacent housing communities and the agriculture-based communities, and has several bridges and drainage structures which outfall into the Berbice River.Addressing the RDC meeting, Councillor Zamal Hussain opined that Government was not getting value for money expended, since a lot of man hours are being wasted.“Many of these workers are just (sheltering) sitting from the sun in people’s yards, and not much is going on. I want to believe that they are being paid in full, and for the entire day. We should ask for a commission of inquiry (CoI) into this project, so that we can put the Ministry of Public Infrastructure to the test, to ensure that the people of this Region are not short-changed in this particular project,” Hussain noted.Figures from the Public Infrastructure Ministry (MPI) indicate that the volume of traffic in New Amsterdam along Main Street is approximately 9,200 vehicles per day heading southward. This volume is reduced to 2,000 vehicles per day heading southward near Edinburgh; 850 vehicles per day in Brothers, and 200 vehicles per day in Light Town, further south.Regional Chairman David Armogan, weighing in on the debate, said the Government was forced to undertake the project after the IDB pulled out because the current administration did not want to deal with the contractor which the IDB had chosen.“When the IDB is giving you money, they supervise it almost every day. They supervise their money, so you can’t really misspend the money or spend it as you like. The IDB wanted to decide who the contractor is. That was based on a submission from a list of contractors; the IDB picked the best contractor for the job based on the submissions of those contractors, (but) the Government did not want that contractor, and then the IDB pulled out,” he explained.Back in 2015, this publication was told that the IDB had selected H Nauth and Sons Construction.Resident engineer Joel Tucker had said in September that some 1.9 kilometres of the base layer and the final layer of asphalt were slated for completion in Glasgow. Preparations are underway to begin the final layer of asphalt in the Edinburgh, Everton and Islington areas shortly.Construction of the culvert at Baptiste Turn, Edinburgh is finished, and another at Glasgow is approximately 90 per cent complete. The remaining structures to be done are the bridges at Gay Park, Providence and one recently added at Everton.This project has been slated for completion in three phases, but it is still unclear when it would finally be completed.
NEW YORK — The search continues for the New York Jets.Since the glory days of Broadway Joe, finding a franchise quarterback has been an elusive and often frustrating undertaking for a team that has rarely had a dominant player at the position.Richard Todd, Ken O’Brien, Vinny Testaverde, Chad Pennington, and, yes, even Mark Sanchez all had their moments since Joe Namath led the Jets to their only Super Bowl win in 1969. So did Boomer Esiason and Brett Favre.But none was either around long enough or able to sustain consistent success to set up the franchise at the game’s most vital position. And, of course, none has been able to get to a Super Bowl.It’s Geno Smith’s turn to prove whether he can break the vicious cycle. He’s headed into his second season, coming off a rough, up-and-down rookie campaign that ended on an upswing.But with Michael Vick in training camp to compete for the job, Smith knows nothing is guaranteed — just ask the 26 quarterbacks, including Kyle Mackey and David Norrie, who have started at least one game for New York since Namath last played for the Jets in 1976.“I’m pretty sure of myself,” said Smith, who had 12 touchdown throws and 21 interceptions last year. “I’m always going to have confidence in myself solely because I believe in my teammates and my coaching.”Good thing, or Smith could watch Vick end up becoming No. 27 since Namath — and the Jets could be in the market for a franchise-type quarterback next year. Again.Here’s a look at some of the Jets’ most notable and notorious quarterbacks through the years:___JOE NAMATH: The conversation about the team’s greatest player — let alone quarterback — starts and ends here. Broadway Joe might not have had gaudy career stats, but he’s a Hall of Famer who still leads the franchise in several passing categories. Oh, and then there’s also that whole delivering on his Super Bowl guarantee thing.___RICHARD TODD: Drafted as the heir apparent to Namath and a fellow former Alabama star, the expectations were way too lofty. Todd led the Jets to the playoffs only twice in his eight seasons, capped by a five-interception performance — three by A.J. Duhe — in a muddy AFC title game in Miami in January 1983 that still makes New York fans cringe when they hear the Dolphins linebacker’s name.___KEN O’BRIEN: He might be the closest thing to a franchise QB the Jets have had since Namath, and often doesn’t receive enough credit for a pretty solid career in New York. O’Brien could certainly fling it, but he took a beating for years behind a shoddy offensive line and gets unfairly compared to the QB the Jets passed on in the 1983 draft and the guy the Dolphins took three picks later: Dan Marino.___BROWNING NAGLE: Remember him? Nagle burst on the scene in his first NFL start to open his second season, throwing for 366 yards and two TDs in a loss to Atlanta. Well, the second-round pick never matched that success, tossing only five TD passes the rest of the season. He lost his starting job the next year, was an ex-Jet after the 1993 season, and finished his playing career in the Arena Football League after stints with the Colts and Falcons.___BOOMER ESIASON: After an already terrific career in Cincinnati, which included leading the Bengals to their second Super Bowl appearance in 1989, Esiason was traded to his hometown Jets in 1993. He wasn’t bad, making the Pro Bowl in his first season, but the teams he played on weren’t very good. He also played for three coaches in his three seasons: Bruce Coslet, Pete Carroll and Rich Kotite.___VINNY TESTAVERDE: After Esiason was released following the 1995 season, the Jets fell on tough times, including a 1-15 campaign under Kotite in 1996. New York also went through the likes of Jack Trudeau, Bubby Brister, Frank Reich, Neil O’Donnell and Glenn Foley before Bill Parcells restored some order and signed Testaverde in 1998.The Long Island native rejuvenated his career that season, leading the Jets to the AFC title game. He ruptured an Achilles tendon in the season opener the next year, dashing the team’s Super Bowl hopes. Testaverde came back in 2000 and engineered one of the most memorable games in franchise history, throwing five TD passes in the “Monday Night Miracle” win over Miami.___CHAD PENNINGTON: The 2000 first-round draft pick was considered a possible franchise-type QB, and he appeared well on his way after leading the Jets to a first-round, 41-0 victory over the Colts in Indianapolis in his third season. Never known for his arm strength, Pennington was a cerebral and accurate QB — but his career was derailed by shoulder injuries. He split the 2007 season with Kellen Clemens and was shown the door the following offseason when the Jets traded for Favre.___BRETT FAVRE: One of the more stunning moments in franchise history came when the Jets acquired the not-so-retired former Packers quarterback. It was a Hail Mary move for New York and coach Eric Mangini, and looked pretty good for a while as Favre led the Jets to an 8-3 start that included a six-TD performance against Arizona.But, with Super Bowl chatter starting to gain steam, the ironman quarterback injured his throwing shoulder late in the season, struggled the rest of the way and the Jets finished 9-7, missing the playoffs and costing Mangini his job. Favre then retired again — before playing two more seasons with the Vikings.___MARK SANCHEZ: The Jets were so high on the Southern California QB, they traded up to grab him with the fifth overall pick in 2009. Sanchez helped lead New York to the AFC title game in each of his first two seasons and set the franchise record with four playoff victories — all on the road.Things went bad fast, though, as he failed to build off that early success, his supporting cast frequently changed and he struggled with turnovers (yes, “The Butt Fumble”). Sanchez also dealt with the distraction of having Tim Tebow around in 2012, and then was lost for the season last summer after injuring his shoulder in the third preseason game. He was cut this offseason and signed with Philadelphia.(DENNIS WASZAK Jr., AP Sports Writer)TweetPinShare0 Shares