AFTER ongoing roadworks at the Tombs of the Kings road in Paphos passed yet another deadline, officials have assured the road will ‘almost certainly’ be completed by the end of July.
The busy thoroughfare was due to be completed at the end of June.
“This is the absolute final deadline and the road will be complete and given to traffic at the end of July,” a spokesman for the Public Works Departments (PWD) Paphos told the Cyprus Mail.
The previous deadline had been the end of June and prior to that the end of April 2016. Upgrading work at one of the town’s busiest roads, has caused disruption and led to a barrage of complaints from fed up business people, residents and tourists.
The ongoing works have passed numerous deadlines; previously work should have been completed in April 2015, but contractors were granted an extension to January 2016. This was then extended until April 2016, then June and now July.
The PWD said that a number of issues are responsible for the delays which have led to the contractors, a joint venture between FAP Constructions Ltd and Stelios Kounna Bros. Ltd, being granted a number of extensions.
The spokesman wouldn’t comment on the terms of the contract or if the contractors will face any fines due to the late completion of the project. However, he did say that extensions had been grated for a number of problems which sprang up ‘daily’, connected to services and other issues.
These included the absence of a main drainage pipe which showed on drawings prepared by the scandal hit Paphos sewerage board SAPA in 2009/2010, but which didn’t actually exist.
“It’s a complicated project and the road has to be kept open to traffic and pedestrians whilst the work is ongoing. Also, the shops have to be able to function and they need access too,” he said.
He noted that the stretch of road which will be ready by the end of the month runs from the roundabout outside Paphos Mall and finishes at the roundabout outside Aspire School.
“Everything will be completed, pavements and so on,” he assured.
However, he pointed out that the green areas and planting of trees and shrubs are not part of the contract and will be undertaken by the municipality of Paphos at a later date, once the road is handed over.
Local businessman, Michael Michael, who owns and operates two business in the area, has been extremely vocal in his opposition to the creation of the four lane road – and protested against its creation from day one. He said that although work has speeded up in the area, there is still a lot to do.
“I can see that people are actually working on the road now and not just sitting around. I believe they will put a tarmac surface down to show that something is finished, but I’m sure that they will have to dig it up again.”
He said that since vital services were installed under the new road, workers have so far had to dig it up a further five times.
“Recently, they excavated again outside the Kingfisher restaurant. I have no idea why and I’m sure this will happen even after the road is ‘finished.’ But at least if the road is surfaced it will look neat and clean.”
Michael said that he would be pleasantly surprised if infrastructure, pedestrian crossing, pavements, and bicycle lanes were all completed by the end of the month.