The Asian Development Bank (ADB) has approved a $40 million grant for a project to make one of Samoa’s most critical roads safer, more efficient, climate-resilient, and sustainable.
The project will upgrade the Central Cross Island Road in Upolu island by building 8.4 kilometers (km) of footpaths and establishing 18 streetlights, 18 safe bus stops, and 11 pedestrian crossings. The project will finance routine maintenance for three years after the completion of the upgrade, as well as boost the capacity of Land Transport Authority staff and other government officials in project management, procurement, gender aspects, safeguards management, and public communications.
“The Samoa Central Cross Island Road Upgrading Project is the first major road project in Samoa to receive ADB support,” said ADB Principal Infrastructure Specialist for the Pacific Rustam Ishenaliev. “The project will upgrade and climate-proof about 20 km of road, incorporating innovative technologies, road safety measures, and gender-inclusive elements, such as catering to the requirements and welfare of women.”
The $40 million project is sourced from ADB’s Asian Development Fund and will incorporate climate adaptation, road maintenance, road safety enhancements, and alternative road construction techniques, all aimed at reducing the project’s carbon footprint.
The Central Cross Island Road stretches about 20 km and is a key artery for more than 7,000 residents and hundreds of businesses between the capital, Apia, and the southern edge of the island. Samoa’s coastal communities, where 70% of people live, rely heavily on coastal roads such as this one for their transportation needs.
“The Government of Samoa is grateful for ADB’s assistance to upgrade and climate-proof the Central Cross Island Road that provides shorter travelling time for all motorists, a safe inland route for first responders in the event of a natural disaster, and ultimately provide a boost for tourism, agriculture, and trade in Samoa,” said Samoa’s Land Transport Authority Chief Executive Officer Galumalemana Ta’atialeoitiiti Agnes Tutuvanu-Schwalger.
ADB is committed to achieving a prosperous, inclusive, resilient, and sustainable Asia and the Pacific, while sustaining its efforts to eradicate extreme poverty. Established in 1966, it is owned by 68 members—49 from the region.