St. Maarten launches refurbishment of roads, beaches

PHILIPSBURG, St. Maarten -- Roy Marlin, St. Maarten's commissioner of public works, initiated a clean-up campaign on the island.

The initiative includes the improvement of roads and beaches.

"What I have tried to do and what I think I am achieving is cleaning up the main driving areas and making necessary road repairs," according to Marlin.

Car wrecks are being removed and overgrown bushes in the areas bordering roads are being cut.

Marlin also is working on alleviating the traffic congestion on the island. Construction of bypass roads is part of the effort to cope with increasing traffic.

The first bypass road, which takes drivers from the main shopping area of Philipsburg to Cayhill, then back to the main road, opened a few months ago.

Long-term goals include the construction of seven of these alternative links.

On the public beaches, the commissioner aims to create more shady areas, walking paths and facilities to dispose of garbage.

Mullet Bay beach, one of the best known on the island, has been at the top of the clean-up list. Dead trees are being chopped down, and the beach is being sprayed to get rid of pests.

Other initiatives are scheduled to be under way by the start of the winter season.

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