San Fernando to Point Fortin highway proposal

San Fernando to Point Fortin highway

The route of the proposed San Fernando to Point Fortin highway was disclosed in October. According to NIDCO, the proposed highway will be comprised of 6 segments:1) Golconda (end of current highway) to Debe

2) Debe to San Francique

3) San Francique to Siparia Road

4) Siparia Road to Delhi Road (Fyzabad)

5) Delhi Road to SMR at Vance River

6) SMR at Vance River to Dunlop Roundabout (Point Fortin).

From an environmental standpoint, the proposed route is acceptable.

The proposed route of the highway avoids the major areas of environmental concern, including the Morne L’Enfer Reserve, Rousillac Swamp, Godineau Swamp and the South Oropouche Lagoon (the proposed route will cross a very small area of the lagoon at its south-eastern boundary, but this area is not ecologically significant).

One of the initial proposals (Alignment 3) would have taken the highway through the center of the South Oropouche Lagoon, thereby avoiding residential areas. This proposal was rejected because of a greater possibility of unforeseen costs and because of complications with respect to utility installations in the area. Needless to say, this route would have had a severe impact on the wetland. But given the opposition from residents that the proposed (environmentally safe) route has received, a reconsideration of Alignment 3 may not be out of the question entirely.

Update: 01 July 2012

I have overlaid the route of the highway on a capture from Google Maps in an attempt to get a better idea of the impact that it will have on both the South Oropouche Lagoon and the Morne L’Enfer Reserve.

You can download them below:

1) Approximate Debe – Mon Desir route


2) Approximate Mon Desir – Pt. Fortin route


#1 Casey Medina on 11.27.12 at 7:35 pm

Is the creek part of the highway? If so, would extra lanes be added to widen this section?

#2 Administrator on 11.28.12 at 6:45 pm

The creek is being widened and will join the main highway near Mon Desir. In my opinion this is a more significant concern than the S.O. lagoon as I believe the intention is to make the creek a four lane highway. The question is whether or not they will take the extra land that they need from the sea or from the mangrove swamp. Both the Ministry of Works & Transport and the Highway Re-Route group seem to have taken the position that mangrove loss will be minimal. I have my doubts however. They have started clearing land at either end of the creek but have not yet touched the mangroves. At best I hope they take a little bit from the swamp and a bit from the sea.

The other area of concern is the Morne L’Enfer Reserve. The highway should pass on the edge of the reserve. While it is degraded forest, it is still important and so I hope my estimated path is correct. Sadly both areas have received little or no publicity.

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