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The Ministry of Transport and Works has allocated some $500 million to effect road surface and drain maintenance works in nine parishes, in preparation for the upcoming 2008 hurricane season, portfolio Minister, Mike Henry has advised.
Making his contribution to the 2008/09 Sectoral Debate in Gordon House on May 28, Mr. Henry said that this sum was part of the $1.65 billion allocated from the Road Maintenance Fund, which would be used to effect overall drainage and road works during the 2008/09 fiscal year. He said the $500 million would also be used to arrest the deterioration of main roads in the parishes being targetted.
The Minister also informed the House that some $200 million has been allocated for the Government’s National Road Services Improvement Programme (NASRIP), which is jointly funded by the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB).
The lion’s share of $700 million, he pointed out, has been earmarked to finance a new and expanded micro-surfacing programme on over one million square metres of roadway. Additionally, he said another $250 million from the Fund, being provided by the European Union, would be spent on main roads.
During the 2007/08 fiscal year, six years after the Fund was established, allocations amounting to $650 million were disbursed to finance general main road maintenance work islandwide, while Hurricane Dean did over $2 billion in damage last August.
The Fund also injected over $200 million for emergency road repairs which enabled the country to quickly return to normal productivity in the aftermath of persistent flood rains during the last fiscal year, while contributing over $210 million to the NASRIP.
Additionally, the Fund is in the process of procuring weight scales, in an effort to address the pressing problem of over-laden vehicles on the road network, the Minister said.