December 18, 2012

US$13.6 million CDB loan to fund rehab of section of South Leeward Highway

A section of the South Leeward Highway is to rehabilitated under a project to be financed by the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB).{{more}}

CDB’s Board of Directors has approved a loan equivalent to US$13.628 million to the Government of St Vincent and the Grenadines for this purpose.

Under the project, 11.4 kilometres of roadway — from Kingstown to Layou — is to be upgraded.

Associated drainage structures are also to be upgraded.

The Board of Directors also approved a grant equivalent to US$51,000 to finance the technical assistance component of the project. These funds are to assist with financing a Vehicle Weight Control consultancy, the CDC said in a release.

Significant development has occurred adjacent to the road. Structures and paved parking areas have been built, with sometimes inadequate or inaccessible pipe culverts replacing the natural watercourses. There is an urgent need to upgrade and rationalise the existing drainage system, since substandard roadside drains and compromised drainage structures are among the main contributors to the present road conditions and frequent flooding, the release said.

It further noted that the South Leeward Highway is the single continuous leeward route from the north of St Vincent to the capital, Kingstown, and serves the important container port at Campden Park, as well as the majority of the island’s tourism sites and attractions.

The project is expected to result in increased efficiency and safety of road transportation along the section of road from Kingstown to the town of Layou, the release added.