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Persad Bissessar: Interchange passed earthquake test
Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar yesterday opened the final phase of the Churchill Roosevelt Highway/Uriah Butler Highway Interchange, urging motorists not to use the roadway as a drag racing circuit. The cost of the project is estimated at $721 million of which $550 million has already been spent. The interchange represents Package C, the final segment of three phases done by main contractor Vinci Construction Grand Projets and a consortium of local sub contractors.
The official opening ceremony was held at the north bound lane of the Uriah Butler Highway, near the intersection and in among those in attendance Works and Infrastructure Minister Suruj Rambachan, Attorney General Anand Ramlogan and Education Minister Dr Tim Gopeesingh. Persad-Bissessar described the event as another milestone for the People’s Partnership Government. The project was finished four months ahead of schedule and on Friday it took its first test as it stood up to a 6.4 earthquake.
“It showed it greatest safety with the seismic movements,” Persad-Bissessar boasted. She said she was honoured to open the interchange in the constituency of St Joseph where a by-election will be held on November 4. Persad-Bissessar said the interchange will alleviate traffic congestion and loss of productive hours with free flow of traffic from south to north.
She said the interchange was one of several projects the Government had undertaken along the east-west corridor and listed projects from Trincity to Chaguaramas that had been commissioned and were about to start. Persad-Bissessar said the traffic lights at the Churchill Roosevelt Highway and Uriah Butler Highway intersection will be decommissioned on October 31.
“This highway will be converted into a freeway. There are no traffic lights coming from Debe as you go straight down Port-of- Spain,” she said. Persad-Bissessar said the interchange was one of largest infrastructure projects in T&T and declared that country had moved from a “failed state to a growing economy.”