In T&T: Jack wants roadworks at both ends

27 October 2011


Minister of Works wants simultaneous development of highway from San Fernando to Point Fortin; points to more economic activity in Point Fortin as a result.

Works and Infrastructure Minister Jack Warner plans to ask Brazilian company OAS Construtora to consider working on the San Fernando to Point Fortin highway from both ends.

Warner said it will be done to stimulate much-needed economic activity in Point Fortin.

Work on the highway is currently only being done at Golconda, San Fernando.

Speaking at the Point Fortin South Western Chamber of Industry and Commerce’s business luncheon yesterday, Warner said he had been asked on a number of occasions by Point Fortin Mayor Clyde Paul to bring the building project to Point Fortin also.

Warner said he spoke to the highway’s project manager. “He said it could be done (and it) means we can benefit from the dry season. Additionally we can create more employment for people over a shorter period and, most importantly, we shall finish the highway faster.”

Warner said his decision was not political but had to do with need.

“What it does for the southwestern peninsula and the growth pole, and so on, is what is important. And if by chance people believe that because they are anti-UNC or anti-People’s Partnership, we won’t work there or we won’t deliver, we have news for them. That has nothing to do with us,” he said.

Point Fortin is a PNM-controlled constituency.

Warner said, if OAS Contrutora agreed with his request, work could begin as early as January from Point Fortin to Rousillac.

“They can work both day and night. They can have several shifts. In this day and age there is no reason why they have to take four years to build a 47 km highway. And it is in this course that I am saying the suggestion to me is a very sensible one.”

Earl Wilson, the National Infrastructure Development Company’s (NIDCO) project manager in charge of the highway to Point Fortin, said consideration was being given to filling parts of Mosquito Creek to expand the north-bound lanes out to sea.

Wilson said NIDCO was working with the Environmental Management Authority (EMA) to preserve the mangrove ecosystem and avoid the costly removal of WASA pipelines presently running along Mosquito Creek. “If we go in-land we will be encroaching on the spawning ground from the crabs and fishes and they will all be destroyed,” said Wilson.

“Structurally the seawall has reached its life span and needs to be reconstructed anyway”, he said.

Wilson said the coastline would be filled to about 16 metres out.

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