The government of Saint Lucia has officially signed the contract for the Rehabilitation of the Millennium Highway and West Coast Road.
The project is being executed with grant funding from the United Kingdom Caribbean Infrastructure Fund (UK CIF).
Prime Minister, Allen Chastanet, disclosed that under the project, a total of $115 Million EC will be pumped directly into the local economy.
He asserted that the Millennium Highway and the West Coast road are probably generating the most economically to this country than any other roadways.
“People may not see that,” the PM said.
He expressed the view that the number one tour in the Caribbean is the land and sea tour where people drive off the cruise ship, head down to Soufriere and take a boat back up and people who travel by boat, return over land.
“When you combine that with the people who are actually driving down on an excursion – and then clearly if persons are renting a car and going on tour, the likelihood is that they ae going down to Marigot and Anse La Raye and Canaries and eventually into Soufriere.”
“So it’s the taxi drivers who are immediately making the benefit of that road. Then along the way now you are seeing the growth of more and more vendors looking to sell their artifacts on the side of the road and I know that part of this is to improve the quality of the laybys and provide the kind of facilities to support that type of entrepreneurship,” Chastanet explained.
The project involves the complete rehabilitation of the Millennium Highway, reconstruction of the West Coast Road from Cul de Sac to Soufriere and design for the construction of the new Anse La Raye Bridge.
The project will also see the roll out of a ‘robust Island-wide’ road safety programme to reduce the carnage on the roads.
Infrastructure Minister, Stephenson King, told Wednesday’s signing ceremony that over the years many road users have complained about the deteriorating conditions which probably have brought grief to many families in the country.
“The sad and unfortunate incidents of fatal crashes are well recorded. Also, the Department of Infrastructure is inundated with a myriad of complaints about what some refer to as the deplorable conditions on the roller coaster road. This will be no more,” King declared.