Minister of State for Business, Energy, and Clean Growth from the United Kingdom, Hon. Ann Marie Trevelyan visited Saint Lucia to witness first-hand some of the adaptation projects funded by the UK Government. One of the key projects she visited was the Millennium Highway and West Coast Road Reconstruction Project.
“So I am really looking forward to seeing for myself exactly where this road will go and to understand just how important it’s going to be for so many of Saint Lucia’s residents but also of course for tourists as they come to visit your wonderful island,” Minister Trevelyan said.
Minister Trevelyan is also the adaptation and resilience champion for COP 26, hosted in the UK this year. She noted that vulnerable countries like Saint Lucia face challenges due to “big climatic changes” such as flooding which washes away roads. She stressed the importance of building new structures with resilience in mind understanding the impacts of climate change.
“We are doing the same in the UK. We are building roads that have to be more resilient to our weather socks and that’s part of what we want to be doing as we make sure the funds that we spend to help infrastructure for those countries that need it to is doing exactly the same things so that Saint Lucian citizens have the opportunity to benefit from solid investments, which means that the economic growth can continue and we can see Saint Lucia grow from strength to strength,” she said.
The Minister and her team received an overview of the Millennium Highway project which outlined areas such as project scope, requirements, funding, risks, and project timeline. Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Infrastructure, Ivor Daniel, who accompanied the Minister on a tour said this is a project that all Saint Lucians should be excited about due to the road safety, sustainability and resilience considerations featured in the design of the project.
“The project, the design I would say was not the typical design. In there was the issue of the climate vulnerability assessment that had to be conducted prior to and had to inform the design that the consultant had to put together. The consultant also had to take into consideration the outcome of an IRAP study which is a road safety study and there are other issues of gender-related matters which had to be taken on board. We had to take on board the matters with project-affected persons. We need to ensure that those vendors which will be displaced that there is a new location for them or there is some manner in which that would satisfy and they would continue to survive in this country,” Daniel said.
He said the overall project has been divided into three lots. Lot one has been awarded and is due to commence in September 2021. Lots two and three are being re-scoped for rebidding. Nicholas Johnny is the Project Coordinator for the Millennium Highway and West Coast Road Reconstruction Project.
“This represents a major infrastructural project of existing roads approximately 40.2km of road. It commences in Castries at the Banannes Roundabout and it ends in Soufriere at the Soufriere Bridge. There are three lots, 6.1km from Castries to Cul de Sac, you have 11km from Cul de Sac to Anse La Raye inclusive of the reconstruction of the Anse La Raye Bridge, which will see the demolition of the existing bridge and the reconstruction of a new two-lane bridge. Then you have the final segment which will be from Anse La Raye all the way down to Soufriere,” Daniel said.