Madam Speaker, Government continues its programme of road development and improvement across the country. Everyone appreciates the value of good and durable roads, both in terms of their economic importance, and in the comfort they afford travellers.
Government plans to continue the rehabilitation and upgrade of all the roads along the east and south-east coast so that the major road network in the country will be second to none.
A contract has been signed for the Bois Diable to Pointe Mulatre segment which will include erection of a new bridge over the White River, with funding provided by the European Union. Other segments, to include the Dubique cliff stabilisation and road works, will be funded under the Disaster Vulnerability Reduction Project (DVRP).
We have also begun discussions with a friendly government, to obtain the financing required to undertake similar works, on the Pond Casse to Castle Bruce road, as well as the road from Castle Bruce, through the Kalinago Territory, to Hatton Garden. These works will result in a completely new road network in the east.
Rehabilitation of the valley roads, started with the upgrade of the main artery from Bath Estate to Laudat. In this year, the process will continue, with major rehabilitation scheduled to begin on the Wotten Waven/Copthall Road. This work will be undertaken in phases. Also, the rehabilitation of the Stockfarm Road will be undertaken. Several other community based roads will be rehabilitated during the year.
Madam Speaker, budgetary allocation has been made for the rehabilitation of farm access and feeder roads on the island. In this fiscal year, work on a number of important feeder roads will be funded by the Government of Dominica, and under the Banana Accompanying Measures (BAM). Farmers are urged to show greater responsibility and form farmers’ organisations that will take on the responsibility to upkeep these roads. It is expected that 72.3 km of feeder roads will be rehabilitated.
Driving at night will be made safer and more comfortable with the installation of additional solar and LED lights along the main roads. This will commence in the new fiscal year with the lighting of the Dr. Nicholas Liverpool and the Edward Oliver Le Blanc highways.
This project is possible because of a gift of 2,500 LED solar powered street lights, valued at approximately $9.0 million, from the Government of the People’s Republic of China (PRC). This is another gift from the PRC in the context of strengthened mutual cooperation and support to address the adverse effects of climate change. The project will be implemented over a three year period.