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Workers of Jusamco Pavers Limited work on the construction of the Point Fortin Highway extension at Mosquito Creek, La Romaine.

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The Point Fortin Highway is almost three quarter way done, but recent delays caused by the COVID-19 pandemic have pushed full completion to mid to late 2022.

In response to queries about the project from Guardian Media, The National Infrastructure Development Company Limited (NIDCO) said work had been progressing well prior to closure of the construction industry in May for two months as part of the state’s effort to curb rising numbers of COVID-19 cases in the country.

NIDCO said, “Works have resumed on nine work packages of the Solomon Hochoy Highway Extension to Point Fortin Project following the COVID-19 shut down and State of Emergency implemented during the period May 7, 2021 to July 4, 2021. The ongoing packages comprise construction of four river bridges, five interchanges located at Oropouce Junction, Mon Desir, Grants Road, La Brea and Guapo, two overpass bridges located at Delhi Road and Southern Main Road—Vance River and 30 km of four lanes rural arterial highway that would connect San Fernando to Point Fortin and also Fyzabad Road to Mon Desir.”

NIDCO confirmed that the two months lost, as well as the high level of rain fall in the early months of 2021 pushed back the estimated date of completion of the project.

“Prior to the recent shutdown, works on all nine work packages were progressing with the latest package projected to be completed by early 2022. The recent shutdown and wetter than average 2021 dry season have significantly impacted this planned schedule,” said NIDCO who reaffirmed that work on the project was a priority.

NIDCO said, “The revised schedule of the works would see all ongoing work packages completed and 30km of highway between Dumfries Road (La Romaine) and Dunlop roundabout (Point Fortin) will be opened to traffic by the third quarter of 2022. The project is now estimated to be approximately 73 per cent completed.”

NIDCO said the project when completed, will significantly reduce travel time from San Fernando to Point Fortin, eliminate the perennial flooding at Mosquito Creek and provide overall improvement to the efficiency of the road network around many communities in south Trinidad.