(News784) – 34 separate stretches of roadways are listed for repair this year, other than roads that form part of wider RDVRP or housing programmes, over $18 million is targeted to road repair in 2021, across multiple projects and funding sources.
This $18 million does not include the $14 million allocated to the Buildings, Roads and General Services Authority (BRAGSA).
Beyond the roads that are specifically-named in Budget 2021, additional roads will be addressed via both the BRAGSA subvention and the $6 million Road Rehabilitation and Repair Programme.
The scope and scale of our 2021 road repair plans are ambitious, and reflect the pressing need to upgrade multiple sections of our vulnerable road network.
It also reflects our acknowledgement of road repair as a generator of important short-term employment for large swaths of our COVID-19 displaced workforce.
In the 2019 Budget, the Government announced the commencement of a programme called PAVE – Pedestrian Access for Village Enhancement.
Since then, the PAVE programme has constructed 106 concrete footpaths nationwide, at a cost of $5.4 million.
These footpaths have built resilience, improved safety, comfort and convenience.
Antoine Mountain (Palmyra), Belair Village, Belmont (Fair Hall main road junction) to Crick Corner, Benjamin Bristol, Brighton Salt Pond, Calder main, Carriere Village, Colonaire Estate, Copeland Mountain, Eire Hill, Enhams, Fair Hall, Farm-Mcmillan, Ferguson Mountain Road, Fireburn, Golden Grove, Gomea, Gracefield Mountain, Greggs/Lowmans Wd, Lammie Mountain, Langley Park, Lauders/Chapman, Lively, Longline, Majorca, Maloney Mountain, Maroon Hill to Zenga river, Mongoyia (Bohemia), Montreal Gardens, Ottley Hall, Overland Primary School, Richland Park, Rose Bank, Sayers Village and Veryvine Mountain Road.
The PAVE programme continues this year. Budget 2021 anticipates completing nine ongoing projects from the previous year, and commencing work on an additional 104 village footpaths nationwide.
A total of $5.2 million is allocated to PAVE in 2021, the majority of which will pay local small contractors, hire localised village labour, and procure materials from local suppliers.
As such, in addition to making our villages stronger and more accessible, PAVE is an unusually potent vehicle to deliver diffuse economic fillip to small-scale construction.
Community Improvement Projects
An important companion to PAVE will be Budget 2021’s introduction of a $2 million capital programme for small community improvement projects.
The programme is designed to fund small, village-level infrastructural works and enhancements that are beyond the scope of PAVE’s footpath mandate. Utilising the same small contractor and village labour model of PAVE, we anticipate that as many as 40 such projects could be completed this year.
Budget 2021 contains a host of other significant infrastructure projects with both national and more targeted impacts.
These include – but are not limited to – the construction of the temporary Parliament building as part of the Modern Parliament Project; the previously-mentioned comprehensive programme of school repair and construction; the Kingstown clean-up campaign; the complete retrofit of the former Browne’s Building in Kingstown to accommodate the Inland Revenue Department and the Financial Services Authority (FSA); the construction of the modern arrowroot factory; construction of sea defences at Sandy Bay; and the refurbishment of 15 health facilities, 14 community centres and 17 police stations.