The Pond Casse to Melville Hall road forms part of the road that links the capital of the Commonwealth of Dominica (Roseau), located in the south western part of the island, to Melville Hall Airport in the north east. The current upgrading works form part of a strategy for economic growth of the country which proposes to improve tourism facilities and enhance air and road access facilities in the island.
The existing road was built several decades ago and is known as the Imperial Road. The overall length of the road is approximately 41 km; from roundabout at Pond Casse to the airport at Melville Hall; the road’s length is approximately 29 km. It traverses a geological difficult area with several mountains which forced the inclusion of very sharp bends and steep grades. The current width of the carriageway varies between 5.5 and 6.5m with additional width provided in extremely tight curves to improve safety.
As a result of the upgrade, the width of the road will be increased to a minimum of 6.5m. the horizontal alignment will be improved, and the existing riding surface will be enhanced with the application of an asphalt concrete wearing course. Road markings and traffic guiding elements (reflective “Cat eyes”) will then be introduced. All of these will contribute to improving the overall safety of the road, especially for night driving.
The project also provides for the addition of complementary culverts and channels to reinforce the existing road drainage; the replacement of a number of retaining walls and the construction of new jersey barriers to enhance overall road safety.
Lot 2 of the project comprises two sub-sections. The first, entitled Sub-Section 2, is approximately 23km long and stretches from Pond Casse to Hatton Garden. The second, entitled Sub-Section 3, is approximately 6km long and continues from Hatton Garden to the entrance of the Melville Hall Airport.