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(SNO) — Minister for Infrastructure, Ports, Energy and Labour, Stephenson King, has promised to deliver a new Millennium Highway and West Coast Road in 2019.
King said in a Dec. 10 Facebook post that a significant amount of Saint Lucia’s aging infrastructure will be upgraded in the new year, particularly the Millennium Highway which will be “reconstructed in it’s entirety”.
The minister also wrote that the Japanese-funded Cul de Sac Bridge will be significantly modified to withstand the pressures of climate change and the increase in vehicular traffic, while the West Cost Road will be reconstructed from Cul de Sac to Soufriere.
“The Millennium Highway will be redesigned and reconstructed in [its] entirety — not repaving — reconstructed, redesigned, so some of the defects that the Millennium Highway has had ever since its construction in 1997-1998 will be resolved, and a new Millennium Highway will be established next year, 2019,” King also told supporters at a recent UWP meeting.
The minister said the highway will be linked at a “different angle” with the Japanese-funded bridge, and the issue of flooding will also be addressed.
“And from the Cul De Sac Bridge, the West Coast Road will be reconstructed …. to provide you with a much better road to Soufriere,” he said.
King first made disclosure about the projects during his contribution to the 2018/2019 Estimates of Revenue and Expenditure Debate last April when he announced that the government of Saint Lucia had secured a grant from the United Kingdom government — via the United Kingdom Caribbean Infrastructure Partnership Fund — in the amount of £30 million or EC$115 million for the reconstruction of the Millennium Highway and the West Coast Road.
“Minister King told the nation, Government has taken a policy decision to invest those grant funds to improve important national infrastructure which will help to contribute to the economic development of the country. As a result, the Millennium Highway and the West Coast Roads are earmarked for major reconstruction,” a press release stated, at the time.
The Millennium Highway was constructed in 1996 and has since, not undergone any significant maintenance, the release stated.
It added that major sections of the West Coast Road are also in “dire need of upgrade”.
“According to the Infrastructure Minister, once these two roads are fixed, Government can now facilitate greater levels of economic activity for the South and in so doing bring greater hope and prosperity to the people of Saint Lucia,” the release further stated.