The Saint Lucia Government’s promised major remedial roadwork is underway in keeping with Prime Minister Philip J. Pierre’s recent announcement.
“We will allocate significant technical and financial resources to road rehabilitation and construction.,” Pierre said in a New Year’s address to the nation.
He had earlier designated 2024 as the Year for Infrastructure.
In keeping with the designation, the Department of Infrastructure’s road maintenance team was in the North of the Island on Saturday at the intersection of Beausejour and Bella Rosa.
Miguel Fevrier, the Communications Officer in the Department of Infrastructure, Ports, and Transport, described the area’s potholes as like ‘little ponds.’
“I know personally because I have to travel there at least four times a day,” Fevrier told St. Lucia Times.
“We understand the plight of the public. I can assure you that from a personal standpoint I bring this up every day within the department,” he stated.
“But understanding the limitations we are facing in terms of financing at this point and also the weather – the weather has been very inconsistent,” Fevrier observed.
He also spoke of emergency repairs that the Department of Infrastructure has to conduct would have hampered its ability to address issues speedily.
However, the department spokesman said that throughout this week, teams have been working in the Mongiraud to Lafeuille area and completed their task on Friday.
Fevrier told St. Lucia Times that late Friday, they began preparing and started work on Saturday at the Beausejour main road, particularly the intersection with Bella Rosa.
The workers encountered a challenge because the plant supplying them with material broke down and Fevrier said the situation might delay the work.
But, he committed to getting the project done as soon as possible.
Fevrier explained that other roadways will receive attention, but the procedure is to ensure the completion of one area before moving on to another.
He also noted that there are drainage issues in the Beausejour area.
Fevrier told St. Lucia Times the issues related to inadequate drains and business owners who built their driveways above the drains, impeding water flows.
He noted that as a result, the water spills onto the road, compromising the road rehabilitation efforts.
“I believe very soon the Ministry will see how we can address that, whether through working with those business owners and the Ministry of Planning,” Fevrier stated.
He indicated this would prevent the premature deterioration of the roadway and extend its life after rehabilitation.
Fevrier asserted that the promised government focus on Infrastructure, including roads, schools, and hospitals, was well underway.