In T&T: $700M for land acquisition — Highway project needs cement

7 March 2012


$$ available for Point Fortin highway project, but will there be enough cement?

WORKS and Infrastructure Minister Jack Warner said a total sum of $700 million has been allocated for land acquisition for the extension of the Solomon Hochoy Highway from Golconda to Point Fortin.

Warner also said one of the ways which the country will benefit from this project is through the provision in large quantities of cement, and other materials.

The minister’s remarks were contained in a written statement which was circulated in the Senate yesterday in response to a question on the Order Paper by Opposition Senator Fitzgerald Hinds.

Warner was not present to respond to Hinds’ question. Government Chief Whip Emmanuel George got permission from Senate President Timothy Hamel-Smith, to provide the question in written format to senators.

In the statement which George circulated, Warner said $700 million has been allocated for the purpose of land acquisition. However Warner said none of this money has been spent because surveys for various segments of the highway are ongoing. All survey works are expected to be completed by May.

He said the country will benefit economically from the project because materials will be required in large quantities to complete it. These materials include cement, sand, gravel, bitumen, asphalt, steel, form work, thermoplastic paint, bridge components and aggregates for fill, sub-base and base course. Warner said the construction of the highway will impact the demand for skilled and labour resources “potentially resulting in a decrease in unemployment levels and an increase in income levels.”

The project’s contractor OAS Construtora of Brazil, Warner said, “must utilise a minimum of 40 percent local input, which includes skilled and unskilled labour as well as materials, equipment, suppliers.”

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