Ground breaking ceremony for Roseau-Portsmouth Road Rehabilitation project set for Friday

Prime Minister, Roosevelt Skerrit and China’s Ambassador to Dominica, His Excellency Deng Boqing at Tuesday's signing ceremony. GIS photo

The bilateral relationship between Dominica and China, which has been growing steadily and smoothly for nearly six years, will be taken to the next level on Friday with the ground breaking ceremony for the Roseau–Portsmouth Road Rehabilitation project.

The ceremony, which will take place on the Pottersville Basketball Court beginning at 10 am on Friday, February 26th 2010, will be attended by the President of Dominica, His Excellency, Dr. Nicholas Liverpool, the Prime Minister, Hon. Roosevelt Skerrit and other Members of Cabinet, the Chinese Ambassador to Dominica, His Excellency Deng Boqing, the General Manager of the China Railway 17 Bureau Group Co Ltd, Mr. Wu Wanliang as well as scores of other guests and the general public.

The Roseau to Portsmouth Road Rehabilitation project is expected to commence with the construction of a new bridge at the northern end of Hanover Street across the western end of the Roseau River, along Elliot Avenue, with the road continuing through several coastal villages and terminating at Burroughs Square in Portsmouth.

The project is the largest single road project ever to be undertaken in Dominica and is expected to cost in excess of $100 million ECD, financed through grant funding from the Chinese government. It is anticipated the project will take about twenty-three (23) months to complete.

This project is expected to have a significant impact on the Dominican economy. A significant amount of the materials to be used on the project will be procured locally. Several Dominicans are also expected to find employment during the duration of the project.

The Roseau to Portsmouth Road Rehabilitation project is one of the four pillar projects agreed to between the Governments of China and Dominica when the two countries established diplomatic relations on March 23, 2004.

Sean Douglas/Government Press Secretary.

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58 Comments

  1. d/can in j/a
    February 25, 2010

    @ anonymous

    I think the two of us agree on most points. And yeah truth is some of the Portsmouth and Grandbay people, especially the underprivileged ones probably never travelled for real!!

    In this day and age I don’t know what is Marigot people excuse though. That’s why I said it seems they not part of D/a cuz they’re the only ones who don’t get it.

  2. Anonymous
    February 25, 2010

    Point taken Eric Cartman.

    I’ve noticed outrageous comments from Marigot people as well and am aware of the road blockage…so my comments aredirected at them as well. But this does not take away the critical need for critical thinkers who advocate their thoughts peacefully. Some will fall by the way side and act ridiculous at the expense of others, then we are all seen in the same light as the offenders. Some people have strong convictions and they will stick to it till it makes since, TO THEM, to make changes.

    Your arguement implies that the people of Portsmouth and Grandbay were not travelling during their times of relenless support for the Douglas and Pierre Charles family in the face of obvious defeat and some form of progress. It was very difficult to talk to people from those constituencies to see it the way others did. Don’t get me wrong, thats good as far as am concern, like I mentioned earlier, its a matter of strong conviction and opposing views. Am sure you would agree that D’ca would be better off with a stronger opposition despite your conviction.

    We can make it if we stick together, am sure the DLP can use some of the brains from people with different views to incorporate a strong plan where necessary, that is if he is not already doing so.

    Good luck with the road renovation, hope almost everything turn out smoothly.

  3. February 25, 2010

    Sidewalks and bike lanes..sidewalks and bike trails….sidewalks and bikelanes….sidewalks and bike lanes…..sidewalks and bike lanes…PLLLEEEEEAAAASSSSEEEE!!!!!!!!!!!!

  4. en ba la
    February 25, 2010

    @Albert P. See the thing is the Chinese workforce has not been established in Dominica YET. Wait when the time comes and we shall see- wait and see approach.

  5. en ba la
    February 25, 2010

    @PROGRESS COMES WITH ATTACHMENTS – true that. Go to the Intenational District in Seattle – China town it is and yes they employ their people. No lie and it is huge :) Restaurants, stores, retirement home, rental property -name it, it is there- all Chinese owned and employees too. In California China town is there too.
    Went to school with these people and all students employed in a Chinese restaurant.

    Hope this is not where we are heading because I have learnt everywhere these people settle they create their own town and look out for their own and cluster together.

    Nice one that – Student in China said “look for all self n develop all u self through what china has to offer” hope down the line your employer won’t be Chinese better yet you will have the education anfd a Chinese in the job you are looking to get.

    Travel and see how they live.
    Time will truly tell.

  6. Eric Cartman
    February 25, 2010

    @Inthemiddleandcolourblind

    I agree with most of what you said until u started talking about Marigot people. You must not know about Marigot people!!!

    Is like Marigot is not a part of D/a they not aware of what going on in d/a. Maybe they don’t travel. When it was clear to everyone Labour was going to win the elections easily many Marigot people were still in some cocoon thinking their party going to win.

    I guess you must not have known how MARIGOT people get on the night of elections. Blocked the road so that people from the C. Territory couldn’t come down to Portsmouth to celebrate.

    I’m all for democracy but I can’t stand Marigot people attitude when it comes to politics. Like to call people stupid and dam*** and retarded etc for voting Labour even though development right in their face (renovated airport etc)

  7. Inthemiddleandcolourblind
    February 25, 2010

    Congratulations to the PM.

    Big ups to your comments Dupiqois…we should understanding that we D’cans are not homogeneous in our political thought and we are much smarter than the misconception…so some poeple may disagree with the current government at times. This does not mean they are less patriotic. We are slightly over 60,000 people, a little village or suburban town in most countries, our heckling does not necessarily have to lead to such strong division as I am observing in peoples comments. Am well aware of D’cans strong mindset and their willingness to be oppinionated. Thats a good thing…thats why we end up with an opposition in our political theatre. It is not to bring down the current gov’t necessarily, but instead, its necessarily to have a balance in power to keep an eye and ear out where necessary.

    So Marigot people are not stupid or blinded by UWP, we have a strong UWP base in Marigot, it is up to DLP to cut into it. They’ve done it in many other constituencies. As a matter of fact UWP seem so unprepared this time around that am surprised that DLP did not throw more effort in investing in UWP heavens. Then again there is always a need for an opposition or balancing thoughts…it is what makes democracy florish.

    There is a strong angry feeling towards Marigot and Marigot poeple, but it is still part of this small village, we refer to as a country, not withstanding its sovereignty, and do not forget that there are strong individual opposing arguements in other constituencies, including Roseau, Portsmouth and Vielle Case.

    We have to work together but recognise opposing views as an asset.

  8. Nitara
    February 25, 2010

    @ Car plane for D/cans

    Lol…I approve that statement. Concerning the chinese stores and restaurant, if it wasn’t the chinese, it would have been the indians(sxm), chinese people are opportunists, and industrious. I don’t blame them for seeing an advantage and grabbing. Some people talking bout their cheap wares….but a high percentage of non-chinese stores sell the same chinese wares or things from china. You can lift any thing from ur home and look at the label and ninety percent of the time it says MADE IN CHINA, regardless of where you bought it. And on a technicality note..not all the asian run stores in town are chinese. There are also Koreans, Japanese. But we tend to lump all asian looking pple as chinese

  9. laplaine princess
    February 25, 2010

    We need to stop being negative and be positive for the good of our country. The Government has to start somewhere and it is not easy. Some of us think that it is so easy being a PM of a country. We should all be proud of development in our country.

  10. Thoughtful
    February 25, 2010

    I am happy that the majority of the responses here are positive for this project.

    I am surprise that there are some negative comments because this is a good move for the infrastructural development of the nation.

    I think some people still believe that we live in a Dominica that is visited by a boat from England once a week bringing in supplies. We live in a new era, the era of globalization, “the global village.” There are Dominicans in virtually every corner of the globe. We form political and economical alliances with far flung nations who can assist us developing countries in our quest for development.

    What difference would it have made if the project was financed by the Americans or the British? The financing of the project by the Chinese government doesn’t mean there will be a mass influx of Chinese to our shores. To draw such conclusion is narrow thinking at best.

  11. Just my little bit
    February 25, 2010

    Congrats! I”m happy that this project is going to be a reality. This is progress and whether or not some Dominicans like it, the Chinese are to be applauded for helping us. They have given to us more than we had hoped for and more than what we will ever be able to give them. We Dominicans would not even sacrifice ourselves to make our country better; someone else always does it for us. As with any country, the people of the country should be looked after first but I see no problem with other nationals coming to our shores and making it their adopted home, as long as they contribute to our development. That is why America is so diverse today and successful and that is where some of us are dying to go, while we still whine and complain about our island, which some of us won’t lift a finger to help. Instead of complaining that Chinese and other nationals are taking over our island, why don’t we take control ourselves and use of initiative as the Chinese, Haitians and Spanish do????

    Thank God that despite all the negative criticism, the Chinese have risen above all and still help us the ungratefuls!!!

  12. Dubiqois
    February 25, 2010

    … a continuation from whence I left..

    Just a couple of things that have been cooking in my noodles:

    (1) It is with hope that this project comes to fruition.

    (2) That it comes to fruition without going excessively overbudget (just like the airport), and we have to get a new benefactor.

    (3) That it comes to fruition with the employment of our fellow Dominicans in various key positions; and that those positions will provide work experience that we can utilize in future projects. We know already that the broader scope of the project will be handled by the Chinese engineers and planners – with Domincans serving as key strategic partners (or at least I hope so).

    (4) Let us hope that the government puts our key engineers and other workers with the subject matter experts – so that they can extract valuable knowledge and experience.

    (5) According to the press release, all materials will be procured in Dominica. That is excellent news for further employment of our people, and adding to our GDP basket. Remember that a country’s economy is like revolving door. What is taken out must be returned in some form, order to keep the economy’s heart in circulatory motion.

    (6) A budget will be created for infastructure maintenance – so that two or three years from now, things do not fall into disarray. In many countries, taxation and tolls pay for continued maintenance of roads, bridges and tunnels. Somebody has to pay for the upkeep of our future developments. Should we raise the property tax on residents living on the west coast? Just kidding, guys?

    (7) Let us hope all goes well without major glitches and political wrangling. Let is stay within budget and deadlines.

    I need to give my fingers a rest…my belly is asking for food as well…

  13. Dubiqois
    February 25, 2010

    I would like to give a more indepth point of view; however, the information given on DNO, coupled with the press release by Press Secretary Sean Douglas, does not give me much to go by. I also looked at our annual report, and did not get anything substantive.

    In case you do not have it, the government’s website ( http://www.dominica.gov.dm) is always helpful.

    This joint venture between D/ca and China looks promising. We should give it the chance to flourish. We must also understand that Dominica does not have the resources to undertake some of the most needed projects (particularly those in healthcare, education, industry, and infastructure) necessary for further economic development. That is why we create political and economic alliances with other countries. Until we get to the point of venture capital, and the ability for our country to create healthy and sustainable self-economic ventures, we will have to continue forge these types of agreements. Even when we become more self-sustainable, we will still be inter-dependent on foreign markets, because globalization is what governs on the world stage.

    Regarding the project to be undertaken, we should stop griping and speculating. Give the thing some time to breath. We Domincans are sometimes too cynical.

    Chiensal, I think you are right. The sum of 100 mil ECD seems a bit small for a project of such magnitude. However, in readind the press release from Mr. Douglas, the magic words read ” in excess of 100 mil”. That means, if we look at the balance sheet 10 months from now, the numbers may be in the vicinity of 200 mil.

    To my fellow bloggers: Let us not take this forum for granted. It is a great medium to give our views and exchange ideas – even when we disagree.

  14. Johnny P
    February 25, 2010

    I agree with de caribbean chjange, this new highway should be named after E.O Leblanc, we will rename Melville Hall Airport to Roosevelt Skerrit Airport!!

    Very good joib ciomrads keep it and continue doing what you do we need this!!!

    S.J Tell us which grounds was broken and nothing happened? You too bias the government is doing good admit it!!! thats why Workers could only get 17 candidates whilst labour had such an influx of persons putting up themselves they had to screen people!!!

    THATS WHAT THEY SHOULD FOCUS ON WHY IS IT THAT WE CANNOT GET CANDIDATES TO RUN FOR US I MEAN 17 OUT OF 21, IT IS A TELL TELL SIGN THAT PEOPLE IS GENERALLY SATISFIED WITH THE GOVERNMENT PERFORMANCE!!!

    SO HATERZ DO WHAT U DO BUT WE MOVING FOWARD EVER BACKWARD NEVER!!!

  15. WILDLIFE
    February 25, 2010

    MR T WILL BE THERE I HOPE I WANT TO HEAR HIS COMMENTS BUT HE STILL CAN PULL STRING FOR THE DOGS IN THE YARD WE NEED WORK NOT ONE SET PLEASE. WE ALL SHALL EAT NEXT LEVEL.

  16. Stranger
    February 25, 2010

    If it was something bad I sure there would have had more comments than that….I’m not Political but GREAT JOB, Loving the Progress for my COUNTRY…..

  17. jjbx
    February 25, 2010

    we need a toll booth at each end of the road to help maintain the new road

  18. Eric Cartman
    February 25, 2010

    @ PROGRESS COMES WITH ATTACHMENTS

    Anyone holding a gun to people’s head and forcing them to buy from the Chinese? It’s up to people to support local.

    What would you prefer, no progress?

    Don’t Chinese businesses pay the same VAT over to government, import duties at customs, buy fuel for their vehicles at local gas stations, buy food at local supermarkets, pay utility bills to Domlec and Dowasco and SAT etc etc..

    Won’t their kids have to pay the same school fees as other Dominicans? Will they be exempt from paying departure tax when they travel? From hospital fees?

    The Dominican businesses are already established with loyal customer bases so its up to them to be competitive and prepared to prevent a situation of Chinese businesses coming in and forcing them out.

    Case in point: Digicel wrecked havoc on LIME in many C/bean countries by catching them unprepared, but by the time Digi got to D/a LIME was ready so they didn’t get sidelined to the extent it happened in other countries.

  19. ALBERT P.
    February 25, 2010

    TO: PROGRESS COMES WITH ATTACHMENTS

    I OFTEN PONDER ON WHAT IT IS EXACTLY DOMINICANS WANT. WE COMPLAIN THAT WE HAVE NO DEVELOPMENT BUT WHEN PROJECTS ARE ANNOUNCED WE COMPLAIN THAT WE ARE DESTROYING OUR COUNTRY OR SOVEREIGNTY. WE NEED TO MAKE UP OUR MINDS…U CANNOT MAKE AN OMELET WITHOUT CRACKING AN EGG…BEAR THAT IN MIND.

    AS RELATES TO YOUR STATEMENT ABOUT THE CHINESE….I AGREE THAT THEY ARE A DOMINIATING RACE…YES…BUT STILL WE SHOULD NOT SPEAK UNTRUTHS….BECAUSE UNLIKE THE METROPOLITAN STATES YOU MENTIONED…. IN DOMINICA EVERY CHINESE ESTABLISHMENT HAS DOMINICAN WORKERS.

    I WILL ASK YOU THIS IF YOU COOK A BROTH AT YOUR HOUSE…..WHO WILL YOU SERVE FIRST….YOURSELF…YOUR CHILDREN OR YOUR NEIGHBOUR…..THINK OF A REPONSE AND MAYBE YOU MAY WANT TO REVISE YOUR COMMENTS SLIGHTLY.

  20. Lady
    February 25, 2010

    Way to Go. I only hope that it generate mass employment for Dominicans and that it will not only be Chineese on the road. Yes we want a road – infrastructural development – but we also want people development.

  21. February 25, 2010

    Well if the Chinese don’t take over, someone surely will, because every country depends on assistance in one way or the other. Ask the US or England to come build the road nuh?

    I don’t understand how people could compare a road project with chinese owned restaurants and stores. What happen? the chinese will bring down their people to drive on the road and d’cans will not be able to drive on it? So funny.

    All of you making those silly comments, I hope some type of car airplane is built soon enough so you would fly to and from home and not have to deal with pot holes and poor parking space. You’ll look down at the fools and say, ‘look at the idiots driving on road Chinese build”.

  22. mason
    February 25, 2010

    Dominicans, development comes with a price,something have to give,if we need Dominica to move to the next level we need to come together as a people and build our country,and stop pulling down the PM. He is doing for Dominica what many people wish there PM was trying to do for them,so Dominican be thankfull.

  23. Anonymous
    February 25, 2010

    Wow i must say that i’m amazed by the number of negative comments posted on this subject. With the construction of this road, all I see is progress. FORWARD EVER!! BACKWARD NEVER!!

  24. DA2DBONE
    February 25, 2010

    20 Mins to Portsmouth??? I In Dat!!!!! While others stay out of Dominica and predict doom and gloom cause of our relations with China, I welcome them….More tax will pay cause when they shop here they not exempt from VAT etc…… And in any case selling of passports has stopped

  25. PROGRESS COMES WITH ATTACHMENTS
    February 25, 2010

    Dominica is being taken to the next level – elevation, elevation, lift off – soon Dominica will be suspended in the sky, as a result of sales of Dominican passports.

    The face of Dominica will be transformed and the entire city of Roseau will be a Chinatown – indeed, this is taking us to the next level!!!

    Every developed city, example London, New York has a Chinatown. At least these cities are huge, therefore a heavy influx of the chinese population is not very significant.

    Over the next few years, homegrown Dominicans will not be able to have their own businesses because there will definitely be an invasion of chinese businessmen in Roseau and the entire country by extension.

    These people are so very shrewd, so much so, that they do not create employment for the Dominican nationals. They develop their own race. They employ their own race. I am not xenophobic. I am making these comments based on what I have noticed during my travels around the world.

    In the UK chinese restaurants are operated only by chinese – no other nation. In New York, chinese restaurants are operated only by chinese – no other nation. In Seattle, chinese restaurants are operated only by chinese – no ther nation, etc. I could go on and on.

    This is just an observation! Time will tell!

    True Dominican!

  26. Eric Cartman
    February 25, 2010

    workers supporters vex we getting a road cuz now salisbury seat in danger. see how they’re quiet? hating on development cuz their party dead.

    by the time nxt election rolls around salisbury peeps gone be driving dat road on a daily basis leaving UWP with only Marigot.

    Marigot peeps also gone be driving on the new Roseau-Melville Hall airport road but they brainwash they probably not even going to notice and still say the government not doing nothing and Dominicans is some stupid people to vote Labour.

    Don’t know what Edison do Marigot people but he do it well good.

  27. stduent in china
    February 24, 2010

    and too me whatever we have to give them chinese cannot amount to what they have given us..so instead of just stressing yall selves about wat we giving them chinese..look for all self n develop all u self through what china has to offer!

  28. stduent in china
    February 24, 2010

    go mr PMn Chinese…show dem wat we talking n working with…. 真 棒!

  29. mr speaker
    February 24, 2010

    got to see it happening to believe……it would be a blessing to have it but, work havent commence as yet so no praises just yet……

  30. en ba la
    February 24, 2010

    I am not trying to be kill-joy here but the flags who set them up? Why will our flag be touching the table and the other one is flying high. The protocol people in Dominica have to get their act together.

  31. man i am
    February 24, 2010

    hope its 2 lane in and 2 lane out

  32. Dominican to the bone
    February 24, 2010

    This lovely island of Dominica has been stagnant for too long. However that is over now.
    So we are moving forward and not turning back.

  33. s.j
    February 24, 2010

    dominicans stupid so many grounds that was broken during elections and nothing hasnt been done yet ,that pm just breaking grounds thats how he taking dominica to the next level.

  34. Love Dominica
    February 24, 2010

    Am finally seeing light at the end of Dominica tunnel. Thank PM.
    Forward ever, Backward never.

  35. Anonymous
    February 24, 2010

    ….something’s happening!!!

  36. HMMMN
    February 24, 2010

    NOW IT IS “ROAD REHAB” NOT NEW HIGHWAY ANYMORE??

  37. Anonymous
    February 24, 2010

    good now the need to build an international airport on the island

  38. chiensal
    February 24, 2010

    That road so long plus a new bridge and for it to cost just $100 million ECD then I think something missing. I dont have big civil engineering or business degree but that does not sound like enough maybe they meant US$. Maybe they just resurfacing over the existing and not doing it from the ground up. I confuse. maybe it will become clearer after the ceremony.

  39. caribbean genius
    February 24, 2010

    Keep working… we have a long way to go.

    Thanks for the new road in advance..

  40. John The Baptist
    February 24, 2010

    OK thanks and we should be happy for the road development. What is the understanding- what arrangements were made?

  41. February 24, 2010

    they doh know how hard i working while they sleeping.

  42. Sewonice
    February 24, 2010

    I would like to see specs of this fantastic endeavour. I just hope that the little bit of beaches are not ruined in the process, but it is a great project that should bring jobs for many –I hope.

  43. Hmmmm
    February 24, 2010

    ‘Twas time but all u the PM looks sick in that pic…:(

  44. Roses are Red
    February 24, 2010

    CONGRATS MR. PM

  45. AP
    February 24, 2010

    DNO, can you provide anymore specifics on the highway plans? Is it a four-lane or just two lane highway… Will it follow the existing road mile per mile. Are there any architectural renderings of what some of the areas of roadway will look like? How many bridges will be built/renovated? It’s good to know stuff like that when you all publish these stories. Will any Dominican companies be contracted on the many facets of this road project? In terms of road maintenance, would Dominica have the equipment to efficiently maintain these roads? Is it going to be up to international standards?

    Admin: This is a press release. However, we will do so in a subsequent report.

  46. LCM
    February 24, 2010

    That will be a good economic boost. That road needs the development

  47. Anthony Ismael
    February 24, 2010

    Amen!!

  48. nigel
    February 24, 2010

    wow. finally better roads. no more patches, lmao

  49. de caribbean change
    February 24, 2010

    When it’s all said and done, the road should be named the “E.O. Leblanc Highway”. Many of us will remember that it was Edward Oliver Leblanc who was the first to have made many of our roads today, accessible, motorable, and walkable to vehicles and pedestrians alike.

  50. D Nice
    February 24, 2010

    Let me hear the haters talk now. Abey Look it….Although elections over and Skerrit win a week prior to the election date, he is still coming through. People it is time to embrace, accept and work together towards a “Developed Dominica”. Congrats!

  51. Smurfy
    February 24, 2010

    Big things ah go on and looking forward to better and bigger things……….

  52. de caribbean change
    February 24, 2010

    I forgot to mention also a modern dispensary in the foyer that will dispense loving tender care and medicines to its patients. Big up to Paul Peter, the Pharmacist from Portsmouth – SMA student in Form 102 where it all started under the leadership of Brother Bassett.

  53. Miami Vice
    February 24, 2010

    Sounds good to me

  54. sum fing wrong
    February 24, 2010

    dominicans remember nothing comes free. ask what we are paying for that. more gey patche chinesse

  55. Seaman
    February 24, 2010

    PM taking it to the next level. Dominica we are moving on up now.

  56. finally
    February 24, 2010

    good i look forward to being able to drink my juice while on a vechile and not having it spill on me

  57. February 24, 2010

    this pm is such a j—–a— they r pushing nite landing and tourism development where is the road from mellvillehall to roseau this isjust a damn mess, what is the attraction form roseau to portsmouth My goodness these people are so stuck in their damn stupidity the Dominica is going to hell in a dam hand basket bunch of FOOOOOOLS.I jguess labor eyes did not fall that way STUPES.

  58. de caribbean change
    February 24, 2010

    When does the final pillar begin? – the rehabilitation and expansion of the Princess Magaret Hospital in Goodwill into a modern state-of-the-art Medical Center which should include a lobby with receptionists and information desk, boutiques, cafeterias, waiting lounge, elevators, escalators, steps, and at least three or four modern operating theatre rooms, one named after Dr. DON Mcintyre. I am happy to hear that the highway road from Roseau to Portsmouth will soon be a dream come true. Forward ever, backward never.

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