The Honorable Minister of Public Housing, Spatial Planning, Environment & Infrastructure (Ministry of VROMI) Egbert Doran, said on Wednesday that an amendment has been submitted for the capital expenditure budget 2022 – a total budget of Naf.8.0 million - where funds previously allocated for the Ring Road, will now go towards the repair of the main roads – transportation arteries - throughout the country.
Through an amendment “nota van wijziging”, the Main Roads are targeted to be improved in place of the Ring Road Phase 1.
After careful consideration and consultation with the respective departments of Infrastructure Management and New Works, it has been decided that the Naf.5.0 million allocated towards the Ring Road Phase 1 project would be geared to the repairs of the Main roads. An amount of Naf.3.0 million remains budgeted for the hard surfacing of dirt roads.
The country’s infrastructure has now reached a point whereby a large portion of the road network has outlived its lifespan, has become worn and therefore needs to be improved and in some cases replaced.
The initiative to reserve a budget for the pavement of roads arises from the shortage of budget and allocation for this within the Ministry of VROMI. There is only a budget for the maintenance of the existing roads, which is used for road surfacing. With the lack of an available budget, funds are needed to create proper infrastructure.
The Ministry of VROMI will enter into investments where the positive effects on the economy are greatest such as the urban regions around PJIAE airport, the capital city of Philipsburg, and the main road artery to Port St. Maarten.
The ministry’s goal is to also improve the traffic flow on the main roads of Sint Maarten through various measures, such as and not limited to resurfacing, road traffic lines, zebra crossings, reflectors, and the creation of sidewalks for pedestrians.
A budget must be reserved to further expand the road network. Smaller road connections that do not fall under the category of a connection may qualify here.