The Caribbean Development Bank (CDB) has approved a loan of USD45.9 million to assist the Government of Antigua and Barbuda with the development and management of a reliable and sustainable road sector.
The loan will be used to rehabilitate 27.76 km of existing roads: Anchorage Road, Sir Sydney Walling Highway, Old Parham Road and Valley Road (north).
'A reliable road sector in Antigua and Barbuda is essential for economic development and the delivery of services to all parts of the country, particularly rural communities, which will be unable to develop without access to an efficient road network,' said Daniel Best, Director of Projects at CDB.
The four roads to be upgraded under the Project are currently used by 37 percent of the population of Antigua and Barbuda on a daily basis, and serve to connect the capital, St. John's, agricultural zones in the south, prime tourism areas, heavily populated communities and the V.C. Bird International Airport. Rehabilitation work will include the upgrading of drainage structures, which are currently inadequate and contribute to high levels of flooding during heavy rainfall.
In July 2016, a CDB-funded study - Road Infrastructure Rehabilitation: Antigua and Barbuda - Informed the development of preliminary engineering designs, cost estimates, and specifications for six key sections of the road network. The recommended roads were chosen based on current and projected usage and potential to contribute to economic development. Rehabilitation of two of the roads is being funded under a previously approved Grant from the United Kingdom Caribbean Infrastructure Partnership Fund, while the remaining four roads will be upgraded under this project.
Other components of the project include the establishment of a Project Implementation and Management Unit in the Ministry of Works and Housing, and the development of a gender-responsive road safety awareness communication strategy, the objective of which is to reduce the risk of accidents and potential loss of life on the roads.
The Project will be implemented over a period of 40 months, and construction is expected to begin by the final quarter of 2017. It is consistent with CDB's strategic objective of promoting inclusive social development and broad-based economic growth within its Borrowing Member Countries, as well as CDB's corporate priority to strengthen and modernise public infrastructure.