The Government of The Bahamas is injecting some $119 million into the New Providence Road Improvement Project (NPRIP).

This was revealed at the opening of a Project Launch Workshop on Thursday where stakeholders from various sectors of the community gathered to discuss matters relevant to the execution of the project.

The NPRIP is a part of the New Providence Transport Programme, which is an initiative funded by a loan from the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB). NPRIP is designed to improve the physical road network of New Providence by constructing new roads and improving existing ones.

Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Public Works and Transport Anita Bernard said one of the objectives of the Workshop is to ensure that at the end of the project, “Bahamian motorists will be provided with quality roads and an enhanced transport system that would alleviate the current traffic congestions now being experienced daily on our streets.”

The project, which is expected to be completed in 33 months, includes the construction of 11.6 miles of roads, and comprises 19 corridors (nine new and 10 existing).

Among the roads to be improved are: Baillou Hill Road (south), the entire length of the corridor of Market Street, East Street (between Robinson Road and Soldier Road), West Bay Street/Saunders Beach, Robinson Road and Prince Charles Drive, Marathon Road, Wulff Road, the Milo Butler extension to Cowpen Road, New Bethel Avenue Phase I and New Bethel Avenue Phase II.

Additional safety features include installation of pedestrian signals, street lighting, a drainage system, guard rails to safely guide pedestrians to designated crosswalks, construction of sidewalks, pavement markings and landscaping.

In his opening remarks, Public Works and Transport Minister the Hon. Neko Grant said, “It is hoped that these improvements will provide increased capacity for high volume traffic flows, and provide access control to minimise conflicts and delays.”

Minister Grant expressed confidence that the staff of the Ministry of Public Works and Transport and the stakeholders involved will continue working tirelessly ensuring that the project progresses smoothly until completion.

The two-day workshop, which is being held at SuperClubs Breezes, Cable Beach, includes representatives from The Ministry of Public Works and Transport, the IDB, Water and Sewerage Corporation, Bahamas Electricity Corporation, Bahamas Telecommunications Corporation, Cable Bahamas, the Attorney General’s Office, Mott MacDonald (consultant) and The Central Bank of The Bahamas. The contractor for the project is Jose Cartellone Construcciones Civiles (JCCC) of Argentina.

IDB representative, Oscar Spencer, said that the IDB “remains fully committed to supporting the Government of The Bahamas in this very important project which will lead to the reduction in transportation costs for road users in New Providence and to improvements to the existing network.

“This project will also contribute to the modernisation and strengthening of the institutional framework for the provision of transportation services in Nassau. It will lead to improvements in road safety and the alleviation of the negative environmental impacts associated with the existing traffic congestion levels,” Mr. Spencer said.