OPERATION Free Flow, Barbados Road Network Infrastructure Improvement Project (Flyover Project) To Triple In Cost From USD60 Million To USD180 Million~Gline Clarke And The Government Of Barbados Owe Barbadians A Big Explanation


From left: President of 3S Barbados SRL, Jonathan Danos, Minister of Public Works and Transport Gline Clarke, and Minister of State in the Ministry of Finance Clyde Mascoll in a light moment after the launch. (Pictures by Sandy Pitt)

On August 10, 2007 BU carried the story Legacy of Debt. The issue of the debt burden of Barbados should start to concern Barbadians. We agree that that the government in order to achieve its “vision” of repositioning the economy to one of generating more foreign exchange the infrastructure of Barbados i.e. roads, transportation, ports of entry, health etc must be upgraded. Most Barbadians we think understand that this expansion is required__after all we are a literate people!

Last night Barbadians were jolted by the revelation coming via Caribbean Broadcasting Corporation (CBC) that 3S Barbados SRL, the company contracted to build the Flyovers and widen the ABC Highway, because of an increase in the scope of works Barbadians could see the cost of the Flyover Project possibly increasing to USD180 million, thats BDS360 million, an overrun of BDS240 million! BU got giddy after we wrote the numbers.

To quote 3S reported by the government owned media company, the CBC reported last night:


While the company’s project manager George Siddall declined to say how much the final figure will be, CBC understands that the current scope of work is about three times what it was initially.

Should we list this project as another one that got away? The question on the lips of all the BU household this morning is __where is David Thompson and the Democratic Labour Party?

The big question for Gline Clarke and the government of Barbados: What are the reasons the scope of the project was amended and why no communication with the tax payers of Barbados? Could Arthur be so confident in victory at the next elections that he would demonstrate such disrespect to voters?

38 thoughts on “OPERATION Free Flow, Barbados Road Network Infrastructure Improvement Project (Flyover Project) To Triple In Cost From USD60 Million To USD180 Million~Gline Clarke And The Government Of Barbados Owe Barbadians A Big Explanation

  1. Absolutely mind boggling!

    And its the contractor thats telling the taxpaper!

    BDS$360 million, how much a mile is that?

    Does this remind anyone of other projects?

    1) GEMS
    2) Warrens Office Complex
    3) Greenland
    4) Royal St. Dodds Golf and Country Club (the Prison)
    5) The Airport

    etc, etc, etc.

  2. David,
    Do not play with our emotions, pretending that you are all shocked and upset. We continue as a country to get EXACTLY what we deserve.
    I recall that BEFORE this project was signed OR EVEN CONCEIVED, the people in Barbados who know MOST about these things – namely the Barbados Association of Professional Engineers no less – were up and down the place pointing out that it was ill-conceived.
    I recall a fellow named “Lt Col something” terrorizing Gline Clarke, the PM, Bizzy and anybody else that was supporting the flyovers as proposed. You remember he was on brass tacks with Bizzy? The present president Blackman has continued in the same trend.

    If our experts (the Harrison college Guru types) were warning so long of the mistake – how come you only see the problem now some (delete ‘white’ cause that would upset some people) man from ‘lord knows where’ comes AFTER the fact to confirm what BAPE was saying from the beginning? I know why Clarke won’t have heard BAPE – they probably do not pay “consultants fees”, but what is your excuse?

    This also confirms my theory that if we place our best brains in positions of leadership not only would we NOT need the reject jokers from 3S etc – but we have far better talent here.

    By the way – do a check and see who is 3S…. what is their background and what qualifies them to do a (now) almost 400 Million project in Barbados.

  3. Wullah this goes beyond a disgrace. There should be a full scale investigation to make sure that more teefing than usual isn’t going on.

    But let me ask the experts this! Did I not read that the new jail and Dodds went the same way.

    Lord have mercy maybe David Thompson had better think twice about forming the next Government because the financial state of Barbados is in such a mess no Government can straighten it iut in 5 years. And some very bitter medicine will be required to be administered by Thompson to even try and address the legacy the BLP will leave.

    As a result Thompson will get one kick at the cat and be thrown out as being too tough on the people. This is a no win situation for the people, the BLP and the DLP! This is like the era of Sandi!

  4. Exactly Bush Tea, I’ve been posting for months that this 3S Barbados is a very dodgy firm to be playing fast and loose with our money.

    To reiterate, when I last checked, the parent 3S “HQ” in Maryland is a one desk serviced office, it has no presence in any US trade journal or web site, not even yellow pages.

    The incorporation documents held at CAIPO have mysteriously, yet as we have come to expect not unusually, gone walkabouts.

    I await to be corrected 3S .

    Who quoted the original$60m price?

    Who carried out the Environmental Impact and Congestion Alleviation studies?

    How did GoB manage to find you, well hidden as you were, and still are?

    How much have you paid out already in “consultant’s fees”?

    How has observing VECO’s performance of the prison contract affected your own business decisions?

  5. This picture speaks volumes as to the excessive cost involved, just one look reveals that we have one Hallam Nicholls posing in above picture I am sure that is seeing afier his share and Owing’s share of the spoils.
    Could it be that they are now sensing that there are at the end of their shelf life and have decided to go for broke of which I have warned on this site and BFP somtime ago.
    Have they gone into clean out mode and the full rape of the treasury ?

  6. Is it reasonable to imagine that the experts and government would have know that my amending the scope of works it would have resulted in the increase of the contract? Experts in the Ministry working closely with 3S would have had an idea of the financial implication of the changes to the scope of work.

    So if this is the case it is safe to say that the government deliberately withheld the information from the public.

    This is interesting indeed!

  7. wat a bunch o idiots yall r one t5he flyovers r much needed to the widening of the road was also much needed and 3 with any job of this size you r going to get cost overuns when u dig the ground u dont know if youll find rock or not and last but not least they were given a whole bunch of additional work so peoples stop talking crap

  8. Anononymous I suspect that you are not the real anonymous because you seem to be talking as though you are drunk or on drugs.

    When estimates are given cost is built in to them to cover unexpected obstacles you cannot readily see or determine before work start.

    David gave a more insightful reason for the over run but certainly if that is the case the matter is still atrocious. When a contractor gives an estimate and the customer in this case the Government makes major changes to the work originally estimated the contractor cannot take the hit.

    However it is unbelievable that anybody who studied and had plans drawn up for a project that would cost $60 million find out later and after the job started that their original egineering designs and requirements needed a further $120 million dollar upgrade. This is either gross incompetence or gross dishonesty.

  9. BU please explain why de rrshole hallam nichalls in the picture and his name is not mentioned? why is he shown in the picture and what is his role in the project?

  10. Anonymous, it would be best if you keep off the blog. I suspect that you would be more comfortable in a rum shop – or maybe you can call your self ‘rummy’ so we could more easily bypass your comments. Surely there MUST be an intelligent BLP person out there who can comment here…

    -There were No real plans drawn up for this project before it started, that is obvious from the arbitrary approach to the work.
    -There were no competitive bids invited from interested contractors (Bizzy said he went and see Gline early one morning)
    David, I do not really think that there is any plot involving officials in the Ministry – this is just a lot of incompetence inspired by opportunities to charge ‘consultancy fees’.

    May be this is what the REAL problem is now…

    If there is a change in Government BEFORE these people can hand this BOLD over to the ministry (which seems likely…) 3S (who ever that is) may find that a new government is unwilling to take over the project as planned due to ‘various inconsistencies…
    How BNB will get back their money?
    Who will finish the highway?
    Solution – Carry up the cost estimate, collect a hefty deposit (from the BNB??) and let we get we money now and ‘bolt’ hear???

  11. This is very interesting, has this change in the scope of works included the widening of the Ronald Mapp Higgway from Warrens to Redmans Village? How can the 3s Project Manager say that the scope changed to include Highway 2a when this area was one of the areas air marked for a flyover in the original design, wouldn widening have to take place to acommodate the fly over? With regards to the 69 KV Line it was known that this line existed this is the said line that equipment damaged causing the ilsand wide shut down and blame it on a monkey. This line was supposed to have been placed at the back of the acquisition line at a specific depth, this was not done hence the need for relocation now, why should the tax payers have to foot this bill when BL&P were given specific instructions for the placing of this line?
    Unfortunately my friends we have not heard the last of these increases can 3s’s indicate whether they have submitted rates for the works to be executed and is it true that there are always discrepancies with Public Works as a result of this where the rates continually chnage from Valuation to Valuation?

    But what can you expect when 3s’s are the ones who provided the funding, did the designs some of which have not yet been finalised even at this late stage, are the ones doing the Traffic Impact Assessment in other words its their entire fatted calf.
    Someone needs to tell John Public where this extra cost is especially in view of the fact that except for the Warrens area no new aquisitions were required hence the usual high cost of land which pushes up the ciost of road works was not a factor.
    This whole thing is all the more interesting when one takes into account that the Original MPT Project Manager on this questioned the cost of this project from the tart as it had about 50% fat from the beginning now we are hearing of cost over runs someone wants flogging

  12. Bush Tea~we feel that the civil servants involved on the project should bear some responsibility. As far as we are aware the technical officers in the ministry are all trained and must be aware of inaccuracies in the scope of the project when they perform their daily due diligence. The big oath of secrecy which civil servants often cite for avoiding going public we don’t buy. All Barbadians have a responsibility to Barbados first, anything recrimination meted out can always be challenged in court!

  13. However you look at it these cost inreases are scandalous. Why all of a sudden projects being quoted in US$? The toothy joker Dale Marshall started it with his lame excuse for overruns at Dodds. Are we not a sovereign state with our own currency? Bajans being insulted all around by this tired and disgusting BLP.

  14. hey David its quite easy to say that the Civil Servants involved should bear some of the responsibility and i quite agree once they are at fault but how can they be blamed when from the outset the Technical Officers from MPT objected to the designs for this project including the flyovers?
    what about when the Original Project Manager objected to the cost of the project? what happened? he was replaced by 2 less experience engineers at the instruction of the Minister, that was his reward for defending the public’s money, the other Engineer who worked with him subsequently resigned and is now working in the Bahamas.

    Anytime there is not an open tnedering process tax payers will continue to get shafted like this. The Public Accounts Committe needs to investigate

  15. well well well~we don’t imagine that it is easy and especially in a place like Barbados where victimization is rampant. However much of the information which you hint at knowing is not in the public domain. It is absolutely critical that if any unprofessional conduct was involved in this mega-project that it is put in the public domain. Many civil servant are privy to information and they can leak information to the media as a last resort. In the USA they do it all the time. If the politicians are not staying true to their oaths how else should the civil servants fight back?

  16. David:
    “Many civil servant are privy to information and they can leak information to the media as a last resort.”
    BOUT HEY??
    You and I know how things are done. First, the info has to be placed on the back of an open truck and the rest is history. However, most of the people with information/facts are scared of the victimisation this party in power is noted for.
    Ppl have families to support they will tell you. And I believe for that very reason they should make sure that the information is passed on.

  17. David – man back off the civil servants.
    First of all these are not the bravest of men (in fact a lot are female) and that is by selection.
    Secondly, they serve at the behest of the Minister. You know how easy it is to get posted somewhere unpleasant?
    Thirdly, they do not operate anon like you and I are able to.
    and fourthly, even when they pass information to people like you, you do nothing but call the minister to ‘confirm’ the facts – and the transfers of public officers can begin.
    You think the people foolish?
    In any case, the Engineers were shouting publicly and You nor anyone else did not take up the cry – till Sidall come out yesterday.

    You just as much to blame as the public officers…. of course the real criminal is Gline…

  18. Couldn’t resist commenting on this triple-cost strategy, plot, nefarious scheme, etc.
    Now let us all stand up, put our hands to our mouths and pretend to be surprised. Then blog about it for about 10 days before moving on to the next wonder.
    Wake up people! Just as some of the more sensible among us (not necessarily the ones with the most credentials) knew that this project would multiply in cost, so did the Government, the con-tractors, and all others with con-siderable interest.
    The strategy is simple. To reveal that the easy as A-B-C Highway project would cost BDS $360 million even before a line was drawn would have sent most of us simple Barbadians into price shock, and blogs and call-in programmes would be off the hook, and the project would never get off the ground.
    So you lie about the cost and with a little Opposition from Dem, you get started.
    What are you going to do now the real cost has been revealed, not in a Press release, but as an aside, “by the way, this thing is costing three times what we said”.
    You can’t stop now, you can’t take the highway back to Woolworth, and you certainly can’t fire the con-tractors, civil (very civil) servants, or any other con-cerns because it wasn’t their fault. And by the time you fire the Guvment, your taxes will be gone down the road long time, dun spen’ and owing to the bank.

  19. Let me tell you guys and gals what this is all about.

    A corrupt and incompetent Government being taken to the cleaners by an equally incompetent and corrupt bunch of foreigners.

    But why is that a surprise when they are doing it to every facet of the Barbadian regime and have been doing it for the last decade.

  20. One scam follows the next so closely it is sickening.
    When the builder who’s company is unknown and unheard of can reveal that the project is over budget by three 3 times the quoted figure of what started out at $ 60 million now are talking BDS $ or US $ here ?
    But it is now costing us the tidy sum of $ 180 million and this is being exposed to us by the builders not the minister not the AG not the DPM not the PM, but the builder some thing must be sadly wrong in our adminstration and budgeting there is no way that this could have had a budget this is a gross piece of theft very much like the oil storage facility, the prison, all projects like this one that Owing, Nicholls and Bannister are closely connected to.
    We must have dwindled away close to a billion dollars in our corruption and back pay schemes and it appears even more rampant towards the end of their days in office, there is more to come on this story, the truth will be told.

  21. I suspect that this situation is even more ‘dicey’ than just simple inflated costs. This new BOLT arrangement is essentially a way to incur massive spending outside of the normal control of parliament.
    This way, Government can have massive capital projects and NOT have the costs reflected in our national liabilities –so that Mascoll can brag about foreign exchange levels..
    Technically, 3S is providing the funding, technical expertise etc to Build, Operate, Lease and then finally Transfer the project back to the Government (people of Barbados).
    I guess that is why Siddall is the one to announce that HIS COMPANY now needs to find three times the original amount.
    What we need to understand is the commitments and liabilities being accepted by the Government. If BNB is the financing agency what is their security? What are the controls on spending?
    Is the WHOLE project a BOLT? or just the flyovers? What are the details of this arrangement?
    Does all the roads now BELONG to 3S? What are the lease arrangements that Bajans will be paying for the next 30 years for that highway?
    Politically BOLTs work well when the Government with whom you make the deal is still there to consummate it… If there is an election and there is a change of Government…who knows?!?
    I would panic too –is I was 3S…

  22. Over runs! This is the same BLP (bare lying people) that were critical of the DLP for over runs at sherbourne and St. Joseph Hospital. This administration is arrogant, incompetetant, and down right corrupt. No government in the history of this island has had the volume of $ as this administration(mainly due to VAT). No government has had so many failed projects, accounting discrpencies, wastage of public funds or vanishing money. Many of you were going with Owen, but you did not know that while Owen and his Mottley crew were saying that the bus was heading for sugar hill, it was only going to Dark hole of debt.

  23. A picture tells a thousand words,just the other day Mascoll was fighting Arthur and his policies after becoming a traitor he now has time to have photo opps with the likes of big criminals like Hallam Nicholls,Lord come for your world here.

  24. Pingback: Gline Clarke And Rihanna Tell Their Supporters To “Shut Up And Drive” « Barbados Underground

  25. Pingback: President Of S3 Barbados Limited Jonathan Danos Is Being Sued For Fraud And Conspiracy By Mabey, His Former Employer ~ Yet Another Shady Project By The Government Of Barbados « Barbados Underground

  26. In view of the public statements issued by Hallam Nicholls recently, what was he doing shaking the hand of Minister Gline Clarke in this photo with Jonathan Danos (who has already confessed to bribing officials in three countries) watching on?

    Ralph ‘Bizzy’ Williams gave what appeared to be quite plausable reasons why the costs of the ABC project has escalated, but were part of these increases due to any intermediary expenses?

    So AGAIN what exactly is Hallam Nicholls role in this project?

    And secondly, can Bizzy Williams explain why a contract (not even a contract but a MOU) was awarded to a newly formed company that had no previous experience building or widening roads?

    Did Mr Williams not think it a little strange and did our Government not do a due dilligence check on Mr Danos and his newly formed 3S (Barbados) SRL?

  27. To have started a project of this magnitude with a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) is interesting. It is interesting when it is juxtaposed with the MOU situation with Kensington Oval. Remember that the taxpayers have had to shell-out money to maintain the Oval because of the current dispute with the Barbados Cricket Association (BCA) over ownership of the land. As a consequence there has been no revenue generating activities at the Oval.This is a case where the government built the Oval for over 100 million dollars on the basis of a MOU.

    To our simple minds we do not understand how huge monies could be spent in this day an age where litigation and contentiousness is the order of the day on the basis of an MOU.

  28. David…

    The other thing that troubles me is the company status of a SRL (Society with Restricted Liability).
    Can one of our legal BU readers spell out exactly what this means and in the case of litigation against 3S, where do we stand?

  29. And never forget that when this info hit the blogs the official price went down from 180 million USD/360 million Barbados down to 120million USD/240 million Barbados. Courtesy of Clyde Mascoll damage control.

    Bizzy funds both parties and is a bigup pupateer. His company says they do for those ‘who don’t kow any better’. Bizzy knows best how to line his own pockets and invests in his future sources of ill-gotten revenue.

    Nichols is politically connected to the very top and shares his commissions offshore with his friends who pass him the bucks.

    That is why we are seeing flexible sums paid offshore from our foreign reserves. COW can go in Argentina and spend this down there, and never bring one cent back to us.

    In short these so-called patriots are not what they say they are. We now know better. Loved your Independance and New Year’s ads COWilliams. “We know better”. Shame on you both, COW and Bizzy. You are traitors. And all creaming and gleaming with pristine cleanliness. See you all at polo.

  30. It is really good to see that Bizzy is so willing with his explanations. Remember in his Company’s Annual Report he takes personal credit for bringing 3S to Barbados AND for ‘getting’ the government to implement the ABC project.

    Now he admits to making ‘contributions’ to both political parties. Is this another term for ‘buying our politicians?’
    Are we happy with this system?

    I would like Bizzy to answer the following?

    1 – Do you or 2S (Structural Systems) have shares in 3S?

    2. As a professional engineer and chairman, would you undertake a $200M project for Structural Systems without engineering plans and competing tenders?


    3. Do you really think that black Bajans are idiots – or are you just behaving like that?

  31. If powerful people such as Williams Industries are patriots then they have to make an about face and start to be good to Barbados. They have enough. Contrary to the Williams’ boat name: ‘Never Enough’ they have more money than they can ever use.

    It is time to do a Bill Gates or a Warren Buffet. Take care of your country Williams if you are honest people. Stop being ‘naughty’ by taking our cash offshore when this is not necessary. You all have many contracts already in other countries where you can get offshore money. Take care and protect our island’s integrity if you are the men you say you are.

  32. Pingback: Prime Minister David Thompson Attacks Squandermania Of Former Government «

Leave a comment, join the discussion.