One of my friends forwarded a FB message from a tourist that went the following:
We arrived today and I wish I had known how horrible the current road construction is. I don’t know what genius thought it would be a good idea to simultaneously close/bloc most of the 2 major roads and multiple intersections in the most trafficked area of Aruba, leaving even experienced drivers driving aimlessly … on mostly dirt, unmarked and out of the way…. I can only shake my head at the idiocies of some people, no detours, no signs, only a handful of visible crews working, in one or two locations…
Well said. Exactly our sentiments. It is crazy to inconvenience A COUNTRY, and subject us all to such confusion and disruption.
I called the man we all love to hate, Marlon Croes, the man who created the chaos.
Marlon explained that the mythical Watty Vos Boulevard includes EIGHTEEN roundabouts and that one at the time – it takes 3 months – it would take SIX years to complete the project, so that poor country Aruba wouldn’t be able to finance it, let alone afford it.
So the geniuses at the helm agreed to push it, and get it done in TWO and a HALF YEARS, but work got delayed, with the change of government, and due to less-than-perfect organizational skills.
Consequently, by August 16th, the projected date of conclusion, the contractor MUST deliver a reasonable product OTHERWISE steep fines and penalties go into effect.
Croes reports finances are at the heart of the 200 million project.
The mega rotunda at the airport, for example. DOW was presented with five different options, including a tunnel, 49 million, a fly over bridge, 21 million, some fancy traffic light arrangement and one more engineering wonder, anyway, they picked the most reasonable solution serving the traffic capacity, aesthetic needs and safety requirements, with a 7 million price tag.
A tunnel would have been nice, but…
So listen up peeps: The Superfood roundabout will be open Thursday, then the Bowling roundabout a few days later, and the Hospital roundabout following. There is light at the end of the tunnel.
The intersections will be open, then the final layer will be applied with the beautification stage.
We will look back in dread at the time the traffic was chaotic, as we shave one minute off the commute!
Croes doesn’t see any similar additional infrastructure project within the next 20 years.
But if DOW does, please spend some time thinking strategically, spend some money on signs, and on a PR campaign that would explain WHY you thought it would be a good idea to simultaneously close/bloc most of the 2 major roads and multiple intersections in the most trafficked area of Aruba.
You are the man most tourists and local love to hate, I told Croes, as we got off the phone. I have elephant skin he said, impenetrable after so many years at DOW, sticks and stones don’t hurt me.
Dear peeps: Did you see the Hato Ski Jump? Apparently that was the cheapest most efficient way to connect Ponton to Eagle. Really?