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Within budget: ready by mid-2015

Solomon Hochoy Highway extension to Point Fortin...

By Carolyn Kissoon carolyn.kissoon@trinidadexpress.com

THE Solomon Hochoy Highway extension to Point Fortin project is expected to be completed by mid-2015, which is not long after the general election is constitutionally due.
This is according to National Infrastructure Development Company Ltd (Nidco) president Dr Carson Charles.
Charles said construction in every segment of the highway was moving at a fast pace and within budget.
The Golconda and Debe interchanges will be completed and opened to the public by May, he said.
“We opened the highway from Golconda to Debe but we are still building the Debe and Golconda interchanges. We will finish both interchanges this year. The Golconda interchange will be completed in about two months and the Debe interchange soon,” he said.
Charles said work is ongoing on the Debe to Penal interchanges, where environmental activist Dr Wayne Kublalsingh has led protests to cease construction.
The Highway Re-Route Movement, led by Kublalsingh, has filed an injunction against the construction of the Debe to Mon Desir segment of the highway.
Kublalsingh said residents impacted by the Debe to Mon Desir segment of the highway were disappointed that work was ongoing at the site although the matter was being heard in the High Court.
But Charles gave the assurance that the Debe to Penal stretch of the highway was expected to be completed by early 2015.
“So by the beginning of next year the public would be able to use that segment of the highway,” he said.
Charles said the Debe to Penal phase of the highway was delayed because of protest action.
“Those things slowed down construction...but everything is according to schedule and by early next year that segment—Debe to Penal should be finished,” he said.
Charles said construction along the coast, near Mosquito Creek, was also on schedule.
The roadway from Gulf City Mall to Paria Suites will be widened to four lanes and will be open to the public by the end of this year.
The two new lanes from the Paria Suites Hotel and Conference Centre to St Mary’s Junction, South Oropouche, will be completed by early next year. The new lanes will be opened to traffic, while construction begins on the existing lanes along the coastline, making it a four-lane roadway.
Charles said the segment from St Mary’s Junction to Mon Desir will be completed by August, allowing motorists to get to Fyzabad in record time.
“From there you would be able to go to Grant Road, Rousillac by end of the year. And we will get down to La Brea by early next year and we are working feverishly to reach Point Fortin by mid-next year,” he said.
Charles said he was pleased with the pace of construction. He said motorists would soon have access to all segments of the new highway, bringing an end to gridlock traffic on the roadways during peak hours.
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