Monday 14 October, 2019

Budget 2019: Gov't pressing ahead with highway projects

Finance Minister Colm Imbert said government is continuing with plans for the construction of several major highway projects including the Point Fortin Highway and the Valencia-Toco Highway.

Speaking during the Budget presentation in Parliament on October 1, Imbert said the San Fernando-Point Fortin Highway is advancing to completion in 2020 with road accessibility to Debe, Penal, Fyzabad, La Brea, Point Fortin and Siparia.

On June 8, 2018, one segment of the 29-kilometre highway - Dumfries Roundabout to St Mary’s Bridge - was opened to vehicular traffic. 

He said the Valencia-Toco Highway is now moving to the construction phase with a hybrid route alignment which would involve the upgrade of segments along the 23-kilometre existing roadway of Valencia Road and the Toco Main Road, and segments of a new road construction comprising 20 kilometres starting from the new Ojoe Road Roundabout on the Churchill Roosevelt Highway Extension to Manzanilla.

"This new alignment will open the Toco area through increased roadway capacity and ensure greater connectivity between Toco and the rest of Trinidad and Tobago," he said. 

After a legal challenge brought by environmental group Fishermen and Friends of the Sea over the highway's proximity to the protected Aripo Savannas, the Ministry of Works and Transport is now proceeding with the Churchill Roosevelt Highway Extension to Sangre Grande, which is being constructed in phases with the Cumuto to Toco Main Road segment as the first phase.

Phase 2 involves the Toco Main Road to Manzanilla segment and Phase 3 comprises the Cumuto Road Link to the Churchill Roosevelt Highway segment; and

Imbert said the Moruga Main Road is being rehabilitated in three phases from Petit Café in the north to Marac Village in the south, which would facilitate "safe and efficient movement of people, goods and services and serve the major communities in the region".

Imbert said areas like Indian Walk, Fifth Company, St Mary’s, Cachipe, Rock River, Basse Terre, Bois Jean, Grand Chemin, La Lune and Marac would benefit from the project which he said would also generate employment directly and indirectly during and after the completion of the project.

Toco Ferry Port in design stage

Imbert said the proposed Ferry Port in Toco is now in the design stage. The new Ferry Port will provide a faster alternative sea route to Tobago from east Trinidad, with a travel time of one hour, one-third of the current transit time from Port of Spain to Tobago.

The new port facilities would open up the entire north-east region of Trinidad for new industrial, residential and commercial development with the surrounding communities benefitting from increased economic activity and the generation of good-quality jobs.


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