Motorists in the north will soon have an alternate route between Corinth and the Gros Islet highway with the creation of two thousand (2,000) feet of motorable road from what was only a track. The new road is being constructed compliments of the Holistic Opportunity for Personal Empowerment (HOPE) project, which operates under the Saint Lucia Social Development Fund (SSDF).
The circular track, which starts off the Marisule highway and ends at two different points in Corinth, has been in use mainly by immediate residents of the area, an estimated three hundred (300) persons. The roadway is also utilised by motorists desperate for an easier route between these two major thoroughfares.
HOPE Site Supervisor Moses Albert, who identified the project, says using the back road was a trial for both pedestrians and motorists. The emptying of wastewater onto the track had caused severe deterioration of the surface, creating a muddy surface, with puddles of stagnant water even on dry sunny days. Heavy vegetation at the side of the road also posed a risk.
The HOPE project, which began in late October, saw the clearing of bushes and drains and disposal of loads of garbage. The roadway was widened from about 5 feet in most places to almost 24 feet wide, drains were constructed and the surface levelled.
Six weeks into the project, HOPE crews are completing the drainage on both sides of the road, which was a major part of the work. Five hundred (500) feet of the road surface will then be paved. Over one thousand five hundred (1,500) feet of road will be graded to make it motorable.
The Holistic Opportunity for Personal Empowerment (HOPE) project is a major component of the Social Safety Net Initiative implemented by the Government of Saint Lucia.
HOPE is designed to reduce unemployment in the short term and create a cyclical effect for continued employment through varied projects; provide career and life skills training at various levels; improve and promote healthy lifestyles practices.
HOPE is administered by the Saint Lucia Social Development Fund (SSDF), which is an amalgamation of the Poverty Reduction Fund (PRF) and the Basic Needs Trust Fund (BNTF).
The mandate of the SSDF is to ensure the delivery of basic services to disadvantaged and marginalised communities in Saint Lucia.
SSDF is funded by regional and international agencies.