Cabinet has revealed that the US$20 million road and highway project will now commence sometime in early 2017.
Initially, the Government announced that the funds issued by the British Government in the Caribbean Infrastructure Development fund, must be utilized by December 2016 or the country will forfeit the funds given.
Paul Chet Greene, the countries Culture Minister who delivered the Cabinet Briefing on Thursday, said the aim is to have the funds approved by November 15th.
“The very next date that we should adhere to is November 15th. A document, outlining all the benefits and costs of the project, will first be approved by the CDB, whose management will adopt it on November 9, . The Antigua and Barbuda Government will then approve it no later than November 15, 2016 , and then dispatch it to London where the UK Parliament will confirm the amount of the grant and for the articulated purpose,’ he said.
Greene said that once the process of securing the funds is completed, and a Design and Build Engineer selected, then the work will commence within six weeks.
“The authorized funds will then be transferred to the CDB which will have oversight of the project. The Design and Build Engineer will be selected immediately thereafter, within six weeks, that is sometime in early 2017, work is expected to begin on this important project,” he noted.
A plan to ensure that alternate routes, which could be used following completion of the rehabilitated highways, was also discussed. The Cabinet was assured that the approach of constructing the alternative routes, appropriate places and of a quality will be contemplated.
Friars Hill Road, Anchorage Road, a part of the Airport road, Factory Road, Herbert’s main Road, parts of Valley Road, as well as Old Parham road leading to English Harbor have been earmarked for rehabilitation work. A new road connecting Old Road and Falmouth will also be constructed.