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(PRESS RELEASE VIA SNO) – The Canaries bridge is now complete and officially opened, adding to Saint Lucia`s growing stock of world-class assets.
The state of the art bridge was officially opened and handed over to residents of Canaries at a special ceremony on Tuesday May 15, 2018. Many residents from the west-coast fishing village joined Government officials and members of the diplomatic corps for this special occasion.
Speaking at the launch, Infrastructure Minister Honorable Stephenson King described the completed bridge as “the best constructed bridge on island to date”. Minister King said “as a Government, we are proud to deliver the bridge of high standard and within budget”.
The construction of the Canaries bridge was commissioned after the Christmas Eve trough of 2016 wreaked havoc across the country, destroying the previous single lane bailey bridge which connected Canaries with the north and south of the island.
This new state of the start bridge, now accommodates two lane traffic with all modern amenities including pedestrian sidewalks, roadside drainage, and new electrical lines, water lines and telecommunications to service the community.
Parliamentary Representative for Anse La Raye/Canaries Hon. Dominic Fedee told the gathering at Tuesday`s ceremony “the official opening and handing over of the new bridge signals exciting times for residents of Canaries as several community development projects are set to begin soon”.
The newly constructed bridge will in addition to improving life on the west coast will also help rectify a long standing problem of flooding which has affected Canaries.
Chief Engineer Mr. Albert Jn. Baptiste disclosed the multi hazard design and construction techniques that were utilized to build a resilient structure that would withstand floods, high winds, earthquakes and the saline conditions near the sea.
The island`s Prime Minister Honorable Allen Chastanet was also in attendance and gave support for the successfully completed project.
In his remarks, Prime Minister Chastanet said his Government will continue to invest in building national resilience to climate change. He also praised the local Contractors, Tradesmen, Engineers and technical staff of the Department of Infrastructure for ensuring the highest quality on the Canaries Bridge Project.
Residents and attendees at the bridge opening ceremony were also satisfied that Government will continue to invest heavily in quality assurance on capital projects.
The Permanent Secretary in the Department of Infrastructure Mr. Ivor Daniel in his remarks disclosed that an ongoing consultancy to develop a Bridge Maintenance Management System and Roads Assets Management System for Saint Lucia will support preventative maintenance of the new bridge and all infrastructure assets around the island. He said this will improve the lifespan of the infrastructure and save taxpayers money.
This New Canaries Bridge was funded by the Caribbean Development Bank and the Government of Saint Lucia as part of the wider, Hurricane Tomas Rehabilitation and Reconstruction Project