by Julita Peter, GIS
The Government of Saint Lucia will be undertaking a comprehensive infrastructure rehabilitation programme with the three-prong aim to increase productivity, guard against extreme weather events, and enhance the island’s competitiveness as a destination for business and tourism.
Prime Minister Hon. Allen Chastanet, during the delivery of the Budget Address last week, said building resilience in Saint Lucia’s physical infrastructure is critical to driving economic growth.
The Prime Minister added that slope and river bank stabilization, river de-silting and drainage are some of the critical components of the National Infrastructure Rehabilitation Programme.
“We will make an investment of approximately $70 million in infrastructural development this year,” he said. “This will have the added benefit of providing jobs for our contractors, skilled artisans, and construction workers. Additionally, the Government of Saint Lucia has received a grant of £28.6 million from the United Kingdom Government through its Department for International Development (DFID). These funds have been approved for the rehabilitation of the west coast road and the Millennium Highway. The designs will incorporate climate resilience elements to better enable them to withstand major climatic events.”
The Millennium Highway rehabilitation project will involve the reconstruction of 5.3 kilometres of the highway from the La Toc roundabout to Cul-de Sac. Re-surfacing will also be done on 18 kilometres of the west coast road between Roseau and Columbette. The Government of Saint Lucia will also give some attention to improving bypass roads especially in the north of the island.
“The aim is to reduce commuter time, improve safety, improve access to agricultural and tourist areas, and support economic activity in the areas served by the Castries-Gros Islet Highway,” Mr Chastanet said.
The Cul-de-Sac Valley, and the Ravine Poisson bridge have also been identified for major infrastructural works.