One of the most significant landslides which occurred during the passage of Hurricane Tomas was the Gesneau landslide. During this event, a number of homes were swept away, while the critical road connection between the Forestierre and Gesneau communities and Babonneau and other parts of the islands North East corridor were entirely severed.
The Ministry of Infrastructure, Port Services and Transport is happy to report that the Gesneau Slope Stabilisation and Road Reinstatement Project has commenced from 24th August 2015. This project is funded by the Caribbean Development Bank under the Hurricane Tomas Rehabilitation and Reconstruction project. This project will entail the construction of mechanically stabilized earth retaining wall with a depth ranging between 3 and 9 metres high. The road which was severed during Hurricane Tomas and accompanying drainage will also be reinstated.
The contract was awarded to the firm of Construction and Industrial Equipment (CIE) following a competitive tender process and the receipt of the No-Objection from the Caribbean Development Bank on June 24th 2015. The contract is valued at $5,071,231.28 inclusive of VAT. The work is expected to be carried out over an eight (8) month period.
Project coordinator for the Hurricane Tomas Rehabilitation and Reconstruction project Mr. Jude Regis stated that the project has utilized technology for construction retaining walls that have been used previously in St. Lucia. He pointed that this intervention is not only the reinstatement of a simple road as some have suggested before, but it was necessary that the slope be stabilized as part of the project. He further noted that this intervention will be welcomed by the residents of the nearby communities as those who are attempting to access the East Coast Road have had to travel into Castries hereby making their journey longer and more costly.
The Minister for Infrastructure, Hon. Philip J. Pierre expressed his satisfaction that works to rehabilitate the islands infrastructure after Hurricane Tomas continues. He noted that this project will have a significant impact on the constituencies of Castries South East and Babonneau. Hon. Pierre also lauded the Hurricane Tomas Rehabilitation and Reconstruction project for ensuring that the infrastructure built post Hurricane Tomas is built better and more resilient.
Among the new projects which are still to be undertaken by the Hurricane Tomas Rehabilitation and Reconstruction project are the reconstruction of the Canaries and Tamazo Bridges.