(de Ware Tijd) PARAMARIBO – The plans to modernize the Martin Luther King Highway are at an advanced stage. “President Desi Bouterse has already given his approval and work can start next month,” says Public Works (OW) Minister Ramon Abrahams.
Talks are being held with Chinese road builder Dalian and local engineering firm AC Consultancy to work out the details. The Ministries of Foreign Affairs and Finance have also submitted the financial plan with a price tag of some US$ 250 million to the China Investment Bank for approval. The project has often been a bone of contention between the government and its political opponents, who call the project unrealistic and populist. “The highway will come, and that’s a fact,” the Minister says for the umpteenth time.
Aside from the housing project, this will be the government’s most expensive plan. It is striking that President Desi Bouterse did not mention the highway in his annual address late last month. The construction of the second bridge at the Saramacca Doorsteek too is going well. “We expect the handover to take place in the first quarter of 2013,” Abrahams says. The extension of Indira Ghandiweg has been closed to traffic for nearly a year now, and this forces road users to use just the Latourweg and Coesewijnesraat to reach Paramaribo.