(GIS) – In 2018, the Ministry of Infrastructure Ports, Energy and Labour began a robust capital works programme for the fourth quarter of the 2017/2018 financial year.
According to Minister for Infrastructure, Hon. Stephenson King, the construction of new bridges, roads and improved drainage has been planned in every geographic location around Saint Lucia.
“Fellow Saint Lucians, this is an exciting period for the Ministry of Infrastructure,” he said. “As such, I am pleased to announce the activation of a robust capital works programme for the fourth quarter of the 2017/2018 financial year. As many of you may have noticed, we have already successfully completed several projects in the first month of this new year and others are progressing smoothly. Cognizant of limited resources and the large scope of infrastructural needs islandwide, the Ministry of Infrastructure will continue to prioritize whilst prudently managing available resources. In addition to ensuring Saint Lucia has state of the art infrastructure, the projects will also stimulate employment for many around the island.”
The minister thanked the citizens and particularly the motoring public for its patience and continued support. He also saluted the hard working staff at the Ministry of Infrastructure for their tireless efforts and commitment in getting the job done.
“The Ministry of Infrastructure is committed to improving the country`s infrastructure in pursuit of national development,” he said. “Let me reassure you, the people of Saint Lucia, that we are working for you.”
Permanent Secretary of the Department of Infrastructure, Ports and Energy, Ivor Daniel, said government is committed to contributing to the economic development of Saint Lucia.
“We recognize and take very seriously our role in laying a solid foundation in pursuit of our country`s economic development. Not only are we building and in some cases rebuilding infrastructure but it is our policy to build better and more resilient infrastructure to withstand the impact of climate change and to meet the needs of a growing population.
“It is also our priority to ensure the government and taxpayers receive value for money on all projects implemented. For this reason the department continues to work closely with contractors and other stakeholders to ensure quality and the achievement of project objectives.”
He continued: “Although the department has accomplished a lot in the past few months, however a lot remains to be done; many slope failures still exist and we are confronted with an aging road network that requires much attention. To assist with these challenges, the department is presently developing a Road Asset Management System (RAMS) which seeks to use economic indicators as a primary basis for planning and prioritizing road maintenance interventions and projects.
Citizens and road users are encouraged to continue to be patient and supportive of the department’s efforts to improve the public infrastructure.
“As we look ahead to the start of a new financial year with renewed vigor and optimism, citizens around the country will continue to witness the execution of a vigorous capital works programme. With the rollout of this programme we seek the public’s support and partnership as we build resilient infrastructure and improve island-wide connectivity.”
The planned islandwide infrastructural work includes slope stabilization projects, road reconstruction, the construction of drains, the erection of bridges, road and sidewalk expansion, routine highway maintenance, and enhancing road signage and markings.
The following details the planned road rehabilitation programs.
Construction of gabion and rubble walls for slope stabilization in Balata, Columbette and Union: The undulating terrain and complex nature of the soil on our island lends itself to frequent land slippage during heavy rains. Moreover many of our unplanned residential communities, created on hillsides, with lack of/improper drainage and sewerage infrastructure, are even more susceptible. Further to Hurricane Tomas and the Christmas Eve Trough, there are a number of areas which have experienced land slippages along our road network which are yet to be addressed. Not only do they pose a hazard to moving vehicles but they also threaten the integrity of the road network.
Slope stabilization in Saltibus: The slope stabilization works will improve resilience to major storms and a 30 percent reduction in losses to the economy. These projects improve the condition of life within these communities by protecting the road’s infrastructure.
Construction of retaining wall at Cedars Road, Castries: Land slippage in the area compromised the road network and property housing the St. Joseph`s Convent preschool. The construction of the retaining wall addressed the problem and averted possible danger.
Canaries retaining wall construction: The roadway heading into the Canaries Village was affected as a result of land slippage associated with the 2013 Christmas Eve Trough. This project stabilized the area making the road safer for all road users.
Aux Lyon, Dennery road rehabilitation works: Work has commenced to fix 2.29 kilometers of road in Aux Lyon, Dennery. The works are expected to be completed over a 30-day period and will include repairing the base, paving and drainage works.
Micoud road rehabilitation: Rehabilitation of approximately 6.5km of roads within the Micoud communities of Dugard, La Couville, London, Ti Rocher, and Fond D’Or. The project included drainage works and construction of a new road surface. It brings relief to residents and motorists who would have traversed the deplorable road conditions for a long time. The Dugard/La-Courville Road saw the successful reconstruction of proper drainage and resurfaced the entire roadway. London Road: This project formed part of a suite of interventions to enhance the road conditions in Micoud South.
Assou Canal road rehabilitation: The entire Assou Canal main road was covered with potholes and in dire need of repair. The road leads to a community of over 100 households with persons also having private vehicles traversing there daily. The immediate repair will bring significant relief to those residents who have been experiencing this inconvenience for over 12 months now. Improved road conditions also reduces possible wear and tear on vehicles.
Corinth road widening and sidewalk construction: The Corinth bypass serves as an important and highly used alternative route for vehicles travelling eastwards towards Grand Riviere and neighboring communities. It also provides relief to the traffic congestion on the Castries/Gros Islet Highway. Commuters use this route as the distance covered is only slightly greater than traversing the Castries/Gros Islet Highway and it saves travel time during peak hours. Two particular sections along this road do not have the capacity to accommodate two-lane traffic, and hence, traffic backup is created during peak hours. The ongoing work seeks to improve the road by widening these locations so the road can function as a dual carriageway and to improve road safety for pedestrians.
Vieux Secrieux drainage and road works: This project seeks to widen the road at Careffe. It is much needed as the Careffe-Vieux Secrieux road is widely used by motorists. This intervention will widen the road by at least 0.5m to allow vehicles to maneuver easily.
Belle plain road reconstruction (Fond St. Jacques, Soufriere): This project is expected to last one month and will include repairing the base and surface of the road. The Belle Plain Road has been in a deplorable condition for a long time and is now receiving urgent attention which will bring relief to residents and general commuters.
Saltibus main road reconstruction: The proposed intervention for the road surface consists of scarifying, applying double surface dressing and potholing in the most critical areas. Construction of road drainage is also essential to improve the durability of the carriageway. This intervention seeks to capture and address the worst sections of the road and the most inhabited in an effort to providing relief to road users.
Roseau to Vanard road reconstruction: This project consists of milling, compacting, reshaping and applying asphaltic concrete to approximately 2.8 km of road. This intervention seeks to provide relief to the many grieving road users in the area.
Almondale Road widening and retaining structures: The Almondale Road serves as an important by pass that provides relief to the traffic congestion on the Castries/ Gros Islet Highway. Ongoing works seek to improve the road by widening various areas using Precast Grills to allow for a more functional carriageway and thus improve safety for road users. Retaining walls will also be constructed to help protect the road.
Ti Chemin, Babonneau road and drainage rehabilitation: This project seeks to enhance the drainage and deplorable road conditions in Ti Chemin Babonneau. Once complete it will be of benefit to residents and all road users.
Balata Fewrie road reconstruction: The Department of Infrastructure has and will continue to undertake urgent upgrades on various deplorable roads around the island. The intention is to bring some relief to residents and general road users. The Fewrie Road in Balata is one of many roads receiving urgent attention.
Reconstruction of road at Fern Avenue (Carellie): This project seeks to provide residents with better roads and involves the construction of a new surface and drainage.
Choc Bridge paving: This initiative successfully fixed the poor driving surface at the Choc Bridge and now benefits the high number of road users that transverse this bridge on a daily basis.
Millennium Highway routine maintenance: The Millennium highway in its present condition has exceeded its operational life, hence the continued deterioration of the road. This road has become the main road used by many commuters to travel between the north of the island and the south via the east and west coast roads. Currently the road has several defects and driving at slow and moderate speeds has become challenging. Due to the significance of the road and its present condition, this routine maintenance is necessary to improve road safety, minimize road user costs, improve road motorability and reduce commuter time.
In addition, bridges and culverts islandwide were assessed, as structurally sound bridges and culverts are vital to the road network as the vast majority of people, goods and services are transported using the road network. Currently, the road network allows for few alternate routes should a bridge or culvert become impassable. The following were assigned for rehabilitation work: Ravine Poison Bridge, Ferrands Bridge, and the Cul de Sac Bridge. These proposed bridges are located in key sections of the primary road network that are considered gateways to the south of the island, where the island’s sole international airport is located. These bridges were identified as attributing to the flooding in the Cul De Sac area. It is hoped that the planned interventions will address frequency and severity of flooding in the area and encourage development of the Cul-De-Sac Valley through renewed investor confidence.
Canaries Bridge reconstruction: The Department of Infrastructure is pleased to have overseen the successful completion of the Canaries Bridge Reconstruction Project during the fourth quarter of the 2017/2018 fiscal year. This bridge was destroyed during the passage of Hurricane Tomas in 2010. The new bridge was constructed in accordance with world class standards and now allows for the smooth flow of two lane traffic.
Praslin Bridge reconstruction: The Praslin Bridge is a double lane reinforced concrete bridge, which is supported by a rubble wall abutment with piles. Over the years scouring has occurred and the abutment has been undermined causing longitudinal cracks along the road surface. A contractor has been engaged by DIPE and the bridge is being repaired and should be fully functional in four weeks. The project started on Jan. 15, 2018 and should be completed by the Feb. 9, 2018 if no issues arise.
Reconstruction of culverts one and two at the Vigie Peninsular: The scope of works include replacing of culverts along the Vigie Peninsular. The original culverts had failed leading to deplorable road conditions.
Banannes Bay sea defense: The main goal of this project is the protection of a minimum of 20m of road and drainage infrastructure from sea surges/sea swells and regulating illegal sand mining. Sections of Banannes Bay have been severely eroded as a result of wave action leading to a section of the La Toc Road coming under threat.
Islandwide river desilting: The Department of Infrastructure actively undertakes desilting works throughout the length and breadth of Saint Lucia, in an attempt to alleviate the impact of any potential disaster. The desilting programme brings relief to many communities prone to flooding such as the Bexon/Odsan Valley.
Roads in cities, towns and villages were also assessed under the capital works programme.
Dennery Village road rehabilitation: A number of streets in Dennery Village are on schedule to receive urgent attention. These projects will allow for immediate relief to the residents of Dennery Village who frequent those areas.
Old Military Road (Bonne Terre) rehabilitation: Sections of this road are deplorable and need urgent attention. Project includes drainage works and repairing the base and surface of the road.
Boguis Roads Rehabilitation Project Phase One: This is one of many projects already successfully completed. It included the construction of proper drainage and resurfacing of the road.
Upgrade of bus stops and laybys: Establish and improve bus stops and laybys along the Castries/Gros Islet and John Compton Highway. This would allow for buses to adequately pull off the main road thereby facilitating a free and constant flow of traffic. So far the department has successfully completed eleven such interventions during 2018.
Enhancing road signage and markings: Placing of signs such as “Junction on the Left / Right”, “STOP” and “Roundabout Ahead” were recommended by stakeholders during a consultation held and considered by the department. Road markings such as Junction Boxes at the Pointe Seraphine intersection and double yellow lines on l’Anse Road would also help improve traffic mobility.