Road works to benefit citizens and private sector – PM Anthony

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Road works to benefit citizens and private sector – PM Anthony
Prime Minister Dr. Kenny Anthony speaking at the sod turning for Courts Mega Store Marisule.
Prime Minister Dr. Kenny Anthony speaking at the sod turning for Courts Mega Store Marisule.

PRESS RELEASE – Hon. Dr. Kenny D. Anthony, Prime Minister and Minister for Finance, Economic Affairs, Planning and Social Security, says that Saint Lucia’s most significant road infrastructure project will be a massive boost to citizens and the corporate sector.

Speaking at the sod turning ceremony for the $20 million Courts Mega Store in Marisule, Gros Islet, the Prime Minister pointed out that private sector interests in the northern corridor will profit from the planned expansion of the Castries-Gros Islet Highway, as part of the Choc Bay-Gros Islet Road and Secondary Roads Improvement Project.

Under that project, the Government of Saint Lucia is moving ahead with plans to expand the Castries-Gros Islet Highway by doubling its carrying capacity from Choc to Gros Islet.

A four-lane, dual carriageway will be built from Sandals Halcyon to the town of Gros Islet, with five new roundabout junctions, better pedestrian safety with sidewalks and ten footbridges and safe drop-off points for public transport.

Said Dr. Anthony, This investment is over EC$150 million and will be the largest investment in roads infrastructure to date. While there will of course be some disruption and inconvenience, there can be no doubt that this expansion will yield tremendous benefits to commuters and businesses.

The Prime Minister further posited that upgrading the road network will make it easier to do business in the northern corridor, improving the speed and efficiency of goods transfers, enabling customer access, and increasing workforce productivity.

He explained that the road network expansion will help alleviate problems that have been mounting for decades, and which have come to a head in the present day.

Said Dr. Anthony, We pay a heavy price for our lack of foresight and vision. In nearly everything we do, we engage in partial, often half-baked solutions. It gets worse, when politics intervene and cloud our judgements!

And the instance of this transport corridor is just one such example. In the first instance, when the highway was built in the 70’s, insufficient right of way width was acquired. And then, over the decades, we have witnessed development after development, narrowing and constricting the available free land available for road widening.

And so, today, we are witnessing traffic volumes in excess of 24,000 vehicles per day, which in itself suggests that even an upgrade to four lanes will not provide completely free-flowing traffic conditions.

This investment, however, will reduce the perennial crawling traffic and improve travel times considerably for commuters using this route.

Funding has been secured for the Choc Bay-Gros Islet Road and Secondary Roads Improvement Project through the OPEC Fund for International Development and the Kuwait Fund for Arab Economic Development.

The project is expected to be completed by the end of 2018.

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18 COMMENTS

    • Novices do not understand or see any daylight between economic growth and economic development. It's a shame and a pity that a country that gave the world a Nobel Laureate in economics does not have even a semblance of any kind of INDEPENDENT economic society or forum to speak of.

      This road is largely a maintenance project. I use the word "project" advisedly. Here, it has more political than economic implications. More roadway says more parking space for imported pieces of moving real estate. Expensive vehicles as some like to place on our roadways in Saint Lucia are mere status symbols and not appreciating assets like land is.

      Bermuda north of us, makes good use of is smaller roadway by restricting the sized of the imported vehicles, note the words "imported vehicles" and keeps the national speed limit in check. Accidents yes. Road fatalities in check.

      The calculations have not been revealed regarding the logic of shaving the time taken from moving from one point of the improved roadway to the next. Neither is the amount of gas saved per car per year, and impact of that on our national imported fuel bill for the entire country. Nor are any of the supposed cost savings juxtaposed against the financial cost of the expansion (contracts, materials, etc) and the contesting of such against the foreign exchange impact and the national obligations of paying down our crippling national debt.

      You may see growth reflected in all this spending and expenditures. But such growth is not to be confused or conflated with development. Why?

      Since this not exactly road expansion to facilitate commercial traffic or commercial growth, nor an opening up of a new area for legitimate commerce, I have to see the detailed figures to be ever convinced that this is not largely just another SLP political gimmick.

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  1. I hope with all this development that the government takes into consideration and make allowances for the abulance to be able to get through during an emergency and also for people to be able to pull off on the side of the road if they are having trouble. That's a true sign of proper development. I'm tired of seeing the abulance stuck with no where to go and the vehicles ahead can't move out of their way either.

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  2. That Corinth back road needs drainage to be constructed / installed.

    I think it should be clear by now that repaving and re-patching that stretch of road is not lasting. Too much water damage in a few months. Proper drainage would extend the life of the potholes as many of them are the same holes which were paved for Christmas last year.

    The holes have reopened in some instances in the same exact spots.

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  3. While ure @ it. Just take the lil scraps of asphalt and re-pave the Corinth road for us please 🙁 pleaseeeee. The Ti-Morne road needs a lot of tlc as well. #justsaying

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    • The Corinth road looks like something out of the first moon landing... felt like all it needed was an American flag planted somewhere in one of the craters...

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    • Car PArts, the "secondary roads" part will be the first to receive attention. Which would include places like Corinth. I'm sure you've seen the people sitting by the road making notes and the strips assessing the volume of vehicular traffic in Corinth over the past 18 months or so.

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  4. By the way, does the PM have to be at a ceremony like the opening of Courts? What benefit is that to the ordinary citizen? Isn't it just another store to spend our hard earned money or be paying fees in interest for years? At a time when we need the PM to answer so many questions publicly he goes to make a statement for Courts, could you believe that St. Lucia? if this isn't contempt then i wonder what is!!!

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    • Just another store spending $20 million to employ more Saint Lucians, 200 in construction, and over 300 in its retail business.

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  5. Dr Anthony said: "We pay a heavy price for our lack of foresight and vision. In nearly everything we do, we engage in partial, often half-baked solutions. It gets worse, when politics intervene and cloud our judgements."

    What is Dr. Anthony suggesting here? What does that say about the electorate? Is Dr Anthony now thinking or refering to how he undertook the first part Castries to Choc Highway? Why would a sitting politician admit that politics clouds his judgement. The PM at that admits that politics clouds his judgement while issues like IMPACS, Taiwaneese Funds, Lambirds etc. are current, and what prevents the right thinking St. Lucian not to think that these are only politcially expedient cases. If not why hasn't the case to review the results last elections come before the Judiciary while others which are more politically expedient have been heard? And you want us to trust CCJ sir?

    The PM went on to say "And so, today, we are witnessing traffic volumes in excess of 24,000 vehicles per day, which in itself suggests that even an upgrade to four lanes will not provide completely free-flowing traffic conditions". Isn't that another "half-baked solution" that the PM is implementing?

    My question is this: If this highway improvement "will not provide completely free-flowing traffic conditions" then why are we spending $150 million.

    A suggestion: Why not construct a new highway above the old one with concrete slabs (methods used in developed countries). A old highway can be used to gain access to the highway or used by heavy equipment, pedestrians etc. I don't know but it is definitely a possible solution without the politics clouding my judgement.

    Since the PM mentioned about politics clouding his judgement, Is the Highway a NEED at this time or is the money the real issue, considering its so close to elections? Remember St. Lucians it is a loan that we and our kids have to pay back. Considering that as it stands now 75% of any revenue collected by the country has to go towards the repayment of loans.

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  6. ALL YOU DO IS GO TO THE MEDIA AND BOAST ABOUT INVESTORS INITIATIVE HELP ,SUPPORT ETC THEY GET FROM YOU ,NOTHING FRUSTRATION FRUSTRATION FRUSTRATION EVEN A MEETING THEY CAN GET TO HAVE WITH FRUSTRATION FRUSTRATION NOTHING TO DO WITH YOU.JUST LIKE TO SEE OR KNOW OF PEOPLES INVESTMENT YOU AND GRANNY E.

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  7. Perhaps control of vehicle importation to reduce on congestion, move to promote more 2 wheel transport (like the Asian tiger economies) so there is less stress on roads, improve public transportation. Do all of that because as a third world country we cannot afford these heavy investments on our road network. We will see what happens in 10-15 years. If we survive.

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  8. PM the long and short is we cannot afford it.
    Why not put some of that money into our Hospitals.
    Find an alternative route to like the north to south.
    Find a technical school where young persons can learn a trade, for example its a headache to find a good plumber in this country.
    PM we all like you but please we are biting more than we can chew.

    Please look through the eyes of the tax payers of this country.

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    • Would "an alternative route" be free? Not trying to quarrel, just making a point. The other two things you mentioned are fine ideas. Which are in train. Money is being spent on the hospitals and has been spent on health centres, and there is ongoing trade and vocational training happening at NSDC. And hopefully that programme will grow - NSDC has been branching out nicely, and it's good that they are taking more diverse training options on board.

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  9. plastering the roads with $$$$ brings just the depth deeper and deeper.
    why not to pay off all our depths first and the to start spending when you have ?
    monster projects bring the country more and more down into the hands of the IMF.

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  10. I beg to differ and i am very interested in how they propose to approach persons whom property borderlines if not passes over the proposed portion of the four lane road...the other issue..when an accident occurs in the existing four lanes...traffic comes to a standstill if not crawl....i hope they have in the design a means of sending any emergency vehicles on to the oncoming lane so they may get to their destination...the other matter of roundabouts....I trust one or a number of them will be placed somehow somewhere between choc and gros islet...because i really feel for the individuals whom live in the bisee area...being in traffic for over 45 mins...at times...only to have to pass their gap and head up to the gablewoods roundabout to head back down...i am in no way questioning the design but merely bringing up a few points...yes there were challenges making the road to begin with...i just hope based on the experience from the first portion of road alot more will be implemented to tackle those initial issues...glace supermarket area will be tricky....rodney bay junction will be tricky...

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