The Government of Dominica through the Disaster Vulnerability Reduction Project (DVRP) and funded by the World Bank is rehabilitating 43.3 km of road from Bois Diab to Hatton Garden.
The project is being done at a cost of one hundred and twenty-six million dollars and will include slope stabilization, new roads, bridges and improved drainage.
Four continuous sections of roads will be rehabilitated including Lot 1 - Pont Casse from to Bois Diable (4.5 km), Lot 2 from Bois Diable to Castle Bruce (9.5 km); Lot 3 from Castle Bruce to Petite Soufrière (8.8 km) and Lot 4 from Castle Bruce to Hatton Garden (20.5 km).
The road works are being undertaken by Sotradom, a company headed by Mr. Jack Gardhankan, and currently 78 locals are employed on the project.
Monitoring and Evaluation Communication Specialist for the DVRP, Ms. Nadette Langford stated the project started with the construction of five new bridges as they aim to minimize any interruptions to the flow of traffic.
“From April 21st we started civil works along the 30 km of road from the Castle Bruce junction Bois Diab through Castle Bruce and the Kalinago Territory. So far the approach from the contractor has been to stick to the main interventions. For instance we have started with the five bridges. Persons who are using the road would have noticed the erection and construction of bypasses. Our approach is that we want as much as possible to have minimal interruption to traffic flow within the project area and to reduce or eliminate any interruption to traffic and access during construction. We would have noticed for the bridge in Lot 1 we will be constructing a new bridge about five metres adjacent to the existing bridge. Therefore the existing bridge would be the bypass,” Ms. Langford stated.
Bypasses have already been built in Castle Bruce and at Richmond Bridge.
Ms. Langford urged road users to be mindful of the ongoing works when travelling in the area.
“We would like to use the opportunity to appeal to road users to reduce their speed in the project area. Yes we have done the excavation to accommodate the road widening but please bear in mind that there are persons working on the road, there is heavy equipment traversing the area and as such it is your responsibility to drive at limited speed during construction and civil works,” Ms. Langford noted.
Ms. Langford added that while the road should be completed in two years, delays could be experienced due to adverse weather conditions.
“We have had to shut down site once before due to the passage of Hurricane Elsa and so we will expect intermittently that we will go through that during the hurricane season and during periods of extreme rainfall,’ Ms. Langford added.
Minister for the Environment and Parliamentary Representative for the Salybia Constituency, Hon. Cozier Frederick highlighted the importance of the road to keep residents safe. He explained that this is one of the many projects currently ongoing under the DVRP.
“I am very excited. These road works have been in the pipeline for a very long time. The DVRP project itself has been around for some time and although we sort of culminate with the road works here, the DVRP has been engaged with a number of other projects. So there has been a lot of work happening through the DVRP and so this roadwork here is sort of the icing on the cake to ensure that people are safe.” Hon. Frederick stated.
Member of Parliament for the Castle Bruce Constituency, Hon. Octavia Alfred noted that this project will boost the economy of the area.
“We are happy for this road. We are also preparing ourselves because we have a lot of development. Our economy is going to get better. Where there is movement and people working the economy is better. When the economy is better the people’s lives improve because nobody is stressing about where they are going to get their next meal. So we are happy for all of the benefits. We are happy that the DLP Government keeps its promises,” the MP stated.