A project planned to protect the community of Layou from further river damage and restore affected parts will commence in this financial year.
That project and other completed ones have led Hon. Public Works Minister, ian Pinard to declare that the Dominica Labour Party Administration has brought Dominica’s infrastructure to a level where it is the best it’s ever been.
So says the Hon. Minister for Public Works and Ports, Ian Pinard, while making a presentation at the first in a series of town hall meetings on the 2015/2016 Budget.
Hon. Pinard says over the last 10 years, Government has spent over $53.5m towards to development of the country’s infrastructure.
“This is an average of over $53.5m being spent annually to improve roads, bridges and air and sea ports of our country. Within the context of Small Island Developing States, this may be deemed as a commendable achievement. Particularly realising that this is happening at a time when developing countries are experiencing tremendous difficulties in replacing their aging infrastructure. Over the past 10 years, Government has invested roughly $402.7m on roads, bridges and sea defences which represents 75% of the total investment sum. at the same time, this investment must take into account the tremendous threat and hardship caused by climate change,” Minister Pinard stated.
As of June 30th, 2015, the percentage of main roads in good working condition has graduated from 25% in 2007 to 65.3% in 2015, an increase of 40% over an eight year period.
In this financial year, Government will continue to undertake major infrastructure projects including a Layou Rehabilitation and Construction Project funded by the Caribbean Development Bank at a cost of $36.1m.
“This project comprises the road rehabilitation along the Layou Valley between Hillsborough Bridge and York Valley Bridge and between the York Valley Bridge and the Pond Case Roundabout.
“We shall also include dredging along the Layou River; road realignment and construction at sections affected by floods; construction of river walls in critical sections; construction of an emergency shelter for the Layou community.”
He continued, “The installation of an early warning system along the river to warn of flooding.”
An $8.2m York Valley Bridge Project is also on the cards.
He explained, “This project is funded through grant by the Government of the People’s Republic of China. It will bring a new two-lane bridge at York Valley.”
For the Roseau area, he described an ‘Ophelia Rehabilitation and Construction Project’ funded by the CDB $16.4m.
“This project comprises cliff stabilization and road rehabilitation at two locations in the Roseau Valley area. The first is the base of the St. Aroment Back Road which will be widened and sidewalks constructed at the Community High School.
“The second area is the widening of the road to the Middleham Falls.”
The Ministry of Public Works and Ports was allocated $33m in the 2015/2016 National Budget.