Motorists can soon look forward to smoother roads as a major road enhancement project commences within weeks, Minister of Transport, Works and Maintenance Dr William Duguid has announced.
A $50-million Road Rehabilitation and Improving Connectivity of Road Infrastructure Project sponsored by Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) was launched Friday morning at Wanstead, St Michael.
The project is to rehabilitate approximately 31 kilometres of the island’s road network in key areas.
The roads to be fixed under the first phase of the Same Roads Project are Charles Duncan O’Neal Highway, West Road to Sir Frank Worrell Roundabout and Normal Niles Roundabout to Clyde Walcott Roundabout (West Bound Lane).
C.O. Williams Construction Ltd and Indra Inc are contracted to fix the roads and Betson Consulted was selected as the supervisory consulting firm for the project.
Town hall meetings have already been held for residents affected by the road works and the contractors were making efforts to minimize the traffic disruptions, the Works and Transport Minster said.
Contractors are to begin work within a week to two weeks and will work day and night, Duguid said.
“This programme will contribute to sustainable growth in the Barbados economy through public and private sector collaboration leading to improvement in the overall road network and transport sector of Barbados.
IDB chief of operations Francisco Javier Urra said that the multi-lateral financing agency would be doubling its investment this year offering US$60 million towards road development, coastal management and more.
“We know these are crucial moments for Barbados but this is where I think the IDB can show its commitment; we remain a solid partner and we want to contribute with the Government to not only make the roads but the lives of all Barbadians better,” he said.
With approximately 120,000 vehicles traversing a 1,600-km road network, Urra indicated that the Barbados’ network was under great pressure.
“. . . . people have been paying a high toll in human life in terms of accidents and this loan is expected to have a huge impact in proving road safety,” said Urra who also mentioned that rehabilitation project would contribute towards improving the welfare and quality of life of citizens.