Minister Blackmoore. *Government Information Service photo

Minister responsible for Public Works Rayburn Blackmoore has planned to prioritize several road projects following a budget allocation of over $69 million to his ministry.

Blackmoore, in a live broadcast on a local radio station following Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit’s presentation of the 2010/2011 National Budget address yesterday, said that a considerable amount of this capital will go into improving the road network of Dominica.

“We’re trying to address some of our major road networks because our roads are tired in Dominica.  We spent the last financial year over $11 million just to maintain roads.  That is totally unacceptable and most unsustainable.  So what we are trying to do is to look at our main roads and just totally re-do those roads,” he said.

The minister pointed out a few new road projects to be undertaken in areas such as Rosalie and Castle Bruce.

He added, “In the next two weeks we gonna start actual work in Morne Prosper. This road there is very deadly… To re-do the road, do excavation and have the road resurfaced. We’re looking at from DBS Radio going back to Lalay Coco…”

Blackmoore also mentioned an upcoming sea defense project set for Pointe Michel.

“We are also talking in terms of the Point Michel Sea Defense wall which were are hoping to  which we are hoping to see… commencement in September/October. That project in itself is out for tending as I speak and we are hoping to have the actual … opening of the bid on the 11th of August 2010,” he said.

He expressed dissatisfaction with the performance of the contractor for an Airport Road Phase One project which has been ongoing for some time.

“With respect to Airport Road Phase One the contractor has not done what they suppose to have done in terms of performance … he has actually breached his terms and conditions of his contract … we would have loved to see this project in itself … brought to completion. We’re hoping that notwithstanding, to see the commencement of the surfacing of the road with asphalt … That road is very critical. It links to the new airport,” he stated.

The minister informed that work has been intensifying in some critical areas within the West Coast Road Project. He stated however that a bridge component set for the KFC area in Roseau has been delayed.

“We should have seen more activity on the bridge component that is to say, in the area of KFC where we shall be constructing a new bridge. But there were some concerns that we have because we have to ensure that the bridge in itself in terms of the design has adequate clearance. Bearing in mind of course that … the river itself can be very vicious. We have to ensure that the design is in keeping with our conditions. That had been addressed,” he said.

“ It’s gonna be a very impressive bridge when it’s complete and overall the project in itself the West Coast road is going to be a very impressive project,” Blackmoore said.

He thanked motorists for exercising patience during the projects.