Japan funds reconstruction of bridges in St Lucia to protect its infrastructure from natural disasters
On August 9, the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) signed a grant agreement with the Government of Saint Lucia in Castries, the capital city, to provide grant aid of up to ¥1.53 billion yen for the Project to Reconstruct the Bridges in Cul-De-Sac Basin.
The project will reconstruct the Cul-De-Sac Bridge located on the West Coast and the Ravine Poisson Bridge located on the East Coast Road.
These roads connect Castries and Hewanorra International Airport, thereby ensuring transportation that is stable even during natural disasters and contributing to socioeconomic development and arterial roads that are more resilient against natural disasters in Saint Lucia.
Saint Lucia is susceptible to disasters such as large hurricanes and floods that cause immense devastation, and in recent years, the country has suffered large economic losses, such as the $145 million US dollars (11.7 percent of the gross domestic product) in damages caused by Hurricane Tomas in October 2010 and the $70.6 million US dollars (5.3 percent of the gross domestic product) in losses resulting from torrential rains in December 2013.
The Government of Saint Lucia aims to make the country’s infrastructure more resilient, starting with the repair and improvement of damaged roads and bridges, but without adequate technology or funds to do so, it is predicted that the next time a natural disaster occurs, traffic will be impeded and the country will suffer economic losses.
The target bridges are located on the West and East Coast Roads, the two important arterial roads for goods distribution in the country, and particularly harsh floods frequently occur at both bridge locations.
The project will reduce bridge closures due to flooding and stabilize the volume of transportation by widening and lengthening the two bridges, which is expected to strengthen socioeconomic development and make the arterial road more resilient against natural disasters.
The reconstruction of the Cul-De-Sac Bridge (length: 81 meters, width: 10.5 meters, lanes: 2) and Ravine Poisson Bridge (length: 18 meters, width: 9.5 meters, lanes: 2) is estimated to take 45 months, including detailed design work and the bidding period.
The works also include levee protection construction around the bridges; construction of access roads and raising the base of existing roads.