The Ministry of Works and Transport has spent $18.4 million in its road and rehabilitation project which includes a new bicycle lane in Chaguaramas.
Minister of Works Rohan Sinanann, who spoke on Saturday at the commissioning of the Western Main Road Project at Chaguaramas Bay, said the completed project included road rehabilitation from the Kayaking Centre to Teteron Barracks, cold milling of existing asphalt and other ancillary works.
The existing roadway was also widened to facilitate the cycling community and pedestrians who utilise the Western Main Road for sporting facilities.
The purpose of the lane he said is to keep cyclists and joggers off the main roadways as several cyclists were killed in accidents, last year.
According to the Minister, the 6.4 km project cost $18.4 million, not just for the cycle track but for the entire distance of road rehabilitation, which include repaving and rebuilding the major roadway.
“When we rehabilitated the Macqueripe Road, we took into consideration that cyclists would use that area. Last year, we had fatal accidents including cyclists and I can’t forget that one morning I was called out around 6 am and we lost some prominent cyclists in T&T and we then decided that speaking to different organisations that like Arrive Alive that we had to find a way to give the cyclists, a fair space to do their riding. We then decided we could start this pilot project here and we decided to continue it here.”
He said Port-of-Spain is not a planned city, unlike some other international cities with cycling lanes, and added that it would be difficult to implement something similar in T&T’s urban areas.
“Most of those cities are planned. Unfortunately in most of our cities, planning did not play a major part. If you look at Port-of-Spain, it might be difficult to get an area just for cyclists but it is something that the Ministry would be looking at.”
Scott Fabrez, representing Arrive Alive, said there were a number of deaths in the cycling fraternity last year and this Works Minister made a promise of a cycling lane and he delivered it to them.
Fabrez added that the feedback from cyclists has been positive.
Sinanaan also spoke about phase four of the drainage project. He anticipates that there will be more rainfall this year compared to last year.
He said they put together a programme of 400 projects across the country and broke them up into four phases with phase four starting on Saturday.
“This does not mean that we will not get flooding but what we are doing, is trying to clean as many watercourses as we can," he said adding that his ministry received $15 million to cover the cost of the last phase.