CDB approves GBP13.9 mn grant to rehabilitate road network in Antigua and Barbuda

Antigua and Barbuda is the first country to access major funding from the United Kingdom Caribbean Infrastructure Partnership Fund (UKCIF). The Caribbean Development Bank (CDB) has approved a grant of GBP13.9 million to assist the country with the rehabilitation of two major roads, the Sir George Walter Highway and Friars Hill Road.

Approximately 75 percent of people living in Antigua use the Sir George Walter Highway and Friars Hill Road on a daily basis. The roads connect the capital of St. John’s, prime tourism areas, heavily populated areas and the V.C. Bird International Airport. The project will upgrade the roads to improve safety and capacity, and renovate their drainage infrastructure.

We’ve chosen two very important roads which will lead into the airport and improve transportation within the country. The benefits to be derived therefrom are endless…We are using this project as a stepping stone to develop the entire country’s network as far as roads are concerned and, with this grant, with this assistance from the CDB, we shall be on our way to a complete road programme in the country of Antigua and Barbuda,” said Steadroy Benjamin, Acting Prime Minister and Attorney General of Antigua and Barbuda.

In July 2016, CDB funded a technical assistance study, “Road Infrastructure Rehabilitation – Antigua and Barbuda”, which informed the development of preliminary engineering designs, cost estimates, and specifications for this project, along with six other key sections of the road network. The recommended improvements were based on current and projected road usage.

In 2015, CDB approved a Country Sector Strategy for Antigua and Barbuda, which spoke to the necessity of improving physical infrastructure in that country. Increasing connectivity is key to enhancing competitiveness in Antigua and Barbuda. We are therefore very pleased that this project is the first to be approved which utilises UKCIF resources, and recognize that it will contribute significantly to the overall economic activity and sustainable development of Antigua and Barbuda,” said Andrew Dupigny, Head, Infrastructure Partnerships at CDB.

The Project is expected to be completed over a period of 24 months, beginning in the first quarter of 2017.

Funds are being provided through UKCIF, which became operational earlier this year, and provides grant financing to eight Caribbean countries eligible for Overseas Development Assistance, and UK Overseas Territory, Montserrat.

This project is consistent with CDB’s strategic objective of promoting broad-based economic growth and inclusive social development within its Borrowing Member Countries, and CDB’s corporate priority of strengthening and modernising public infrastructure.