August 20, 2014

Roseau to Portsmouth Highway – “a significant landmark”

Hon. Rayburn Blackmoore.

The newly completed Roseau to Portsmouth Highway has been described as a “significant landmark” in the history of Dominica.

The highway was rehabilitated under the West Coast Road Development Project by the China Railway 17th Bureau Group Corporation Limited which is a subsidiary company of China Railway at a cost of EC$ 100, 000, 000.00.

Public Works Minister Rayburn Blackmoore in a live interview with DBS Radio on Tuesday noted that Dominica’s development “is defined by historical landmarks and personalities.”

Blackmoore explained that E. O Leblanc; the first premier of Dominica, “was a tremendous personality in the field of politics and culture” and credited for having constructed the West Coast Highway which was at that time a “feeder road” under his administration.

“The road in itself represents a very significant landmark in our development as a collective and of course connecting a major artery the town of Roseau and the town of Portsmouth and I think that is tremendous”.

While the minister noted that “there is always room for improvement” he said the rehabilitation project which was conducted is “a significant improvement” from what existed.

The Dominica China Friendship Bridge (DC Bridge) which forms part of the West Coast Road Project was officially opened on February 1, 2012. Photograph by Ashton Shillingford.

“I think that we need to put this thing into proper context because it really costs a lot to maintain our roads in Dominica. It is a challenge for us and we are trying to see what we can do in the next ten years to get all our roads in good condition”.

That goal to ensure that all road networks within the country are in good condition, will be a “tremendous challenge” however Blackmoore said his government is committed to undertaking this as the country stands to benefit from such a project.

“You can criticize the wall but it was a tremendous improvement and the country can only benefit from that improvement in terms of our commerce; and once you improve your commerce it’s definitely place for economic advancement as a people”.

The highway will officially open on the 20th of April, 2012 a date which Blackmoore said “coincides with a very significant event when we’re celebrating eight years having shifted from the Province of Taiwan to the Republic of China”.

The opening will be held in Mahaut, which according to Blackmoore is “a centralized location” and coincidentally forms part of the minister’s constituency.

Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit announced at the official opening of the Dominica China Friendship Bridge (DC Bridge) on February 1st, 2012 that the highway will be renamed the Edward Oliver Highway in recognition of his contribution to the initial construction of that road.

Dominica Vibes News

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