- 03 APR 2019
Tour of Highway Extension to Manzanilla
Construction of the highway from Cumuto is well on its way as the Ministry of Works and Transport and its agent the National Infrastructure Development Company steadily moves ahead with this development.
Prime Minister Dr the Hon. Keith Rowley toured the site today(03.04.2019) for a first-hand view of the project which will see the extension of the Churchill Roosevelt Highway to Manzanilla.
Recently, the Privy Council unequivocally reaffirmed the decisions of the local courts to dismiss the claim by the Fishermen and Friends of the Sea (FFSO) which challenged the decision of the Environmental Management Authority (EMA) to grant a Certificate of Environmental Clearance to the Ministry for the construction of this highway.
Construction works never occurred and was never intended to occur on the Aripo Savannas as was asserted by the FFOS. On the contrary, it was always intended for the works to proceed in a manner to protect the environmentally sensitive area of the Aripo Savannas.
The Government remains committed to preserving this national treasure and undertakes to working closely with the EMA to minimize any adverse effect on the environment during the construction of the highway and to observe all the terms and conditions of the Certificate of Environmental Clearance.
The design of the project takes into account land use issues in the surrounding areas and facilitates the crossing of animals via an underground tunnel. There will be room for further development works along the highway as well as replanting of vegetation, as is done with all highway projects to prevent erosion.
BENEFITS OF PROJECT
• The expansion is expected to significantly reduce traffic congestion in Sangre Grande and surrounding areas as motorists will benefit from a four-lane, free-flow highway. On completion it is anticipated that travel time from Sangre Grande to Port of Spain will be less than one hour.
• The construction of this highway will see over 3,600 new workers integrated into the workforce. Contractors, skilled and unskilled labourers will all have equal access to jobs and employment opportunities. It will also increase the potential to create numerous types of jobs inclusive of masons, carpenters, drivers, vehicle operators, road builders, maintenance personnel etc.
• An increase in property value and commerce in the area particularly in the vicinity of the route, as the access to and from will become easier.
• The highway will ensure that in times of disaster an adequate route will be available for bringing relief and facilitating evacuation, if needed, of people out of East Trinidad.
• The project will connect to the proposed highway to Toco from an interchange at Ojoe Road. The Highway to Toco creates a major link to the proposed Port at Toco which will facilitate an additional route between Trinidad and Tobago.