Castries, Saint Lucia: Prime Minister Philip J Pierre officially inaugurated the Piaye Bridge on Jan 23, 2024. The PM of Saint Lucia was conjoined by Felix Fernandez-Shaw, Director for Latin America, the Caribbean and relations with all Overseas Countries and Territories at the European Commission’s Directorate-General for International Partnerships (DG INTPA), Cabinet Ministers and European Union (EU) dignitaries for the official ribbon cutting ceremony.
As per the sources, it was Prime Minister’s commitment to successfully complete the project and strengthen the national infrastructural and spearhead Saint Lucia’s transition towards climate-resilient construction.
Reportedly, the Piaye Bridge links the southwestern communities of Laborie, Choiseul and Soufriere to the town of Vieux-Fort, which was destroyed for the second time in Dec 2013 during the Christmas Eve Trough. The destruction of the bridge posed significant challenges, too.
The Piaye Bridge is built keeping in mind a climate resilience structure that can withstand and tackle the weather-related calamities and the effects of climate change. The two-lane bridge will provide benefits especially to the motorists, commuters and Piaye environs who can now enjoy the reduced travel times and enhanced productivity.
As per the reports, the government of Saint Lucia signed the Financing Agreement for the Saint Lucia Post Trough Infrastructure Rehabilitation Project, officially on April 26, 2016.
During the ongoing agreement period, PM Pierre led the Ministry for Infrastructure and under his expertise, the team negotiated and secured the agreement for the financing of the reconstruction of the Piaye Bridge.
Together they also led the rehabilitation or reconstruction work of the Anse La Raye Venus Road for €5,740,000. Also, the contract price $7,357,69.49 was spent for the reconstruction of the Piaye Bridge.
As per the official release by the Office of the Prime Minister of Saint Lucia, the funds for the construction of the bridge were channelled through the World Bank between the Government of Saint Lucia and the International Development Association. Moreover, the World Bank served as Administrator of the Saint Lucia Disaster Vulnerability Reduction Project – EDF Trust Fund.
However, after finalising the designs for the Piaye Bridge in 2021, the O.B. Sadoo Engineering Services began with the construction works in Feb 2022. The contractors finished the construction work on time in Sep 2023 with savings.
The Government of Saint Lucia extended its gratitude to the European Commission, the European Union and the World Bank for cooperating in the success of the Piaye Bridge project.