“French-side residents are causeway’s main beneficiaries”: Government wants more alternatives

POSTED: 12/4/12 12:51 AM

St. Maarten – “The government wants to create more alternatives,” Vromi-Minister William Marlin told members of the parliament’s central committee yesterday when he discussed the criticism he has received for his “tunnel-vision.”

The minister said that the island’s road infrastructure has to deal with 27,000 registered cars on the Dutch side alone. “It is inconceivable that someone visiting the French side and renting a car there would not at some point venture over to the Dutch side,” he said.

The number of registered cars on the French side is somewhere between 17,000 and 20,000. It could be higher because not all vehicles have obtained new license plates with the AAA and AAB numbering system.

About the idea Marlin floated for constructing a tunnel from Cole Bay to St. Peters, the minister said: “for some the campaign has already started. But the question is, where do we go from here? We can continue to sit endlessly in traffic jams, or embark on building the links that were already foreseen twenty years ago.”

The minister said that he had labeled the causeway as a bridge to nowhere and that a link to St. Peters made sense.

Marlin said that the initial building permit for the causeway allowed for a maximum height of 23 meters. “Afterwards there was a request to increase the height to 42 meters for esthetic reasons. This has not been allowed by the government. The contractors were advised to construct the bridge in accordance with the building permit.”

Civil aviation authorities have no problems with the causeway if it stays within the maximum height of 23 meters, Marlin said.

The minister said that French-side residents will be the main beneficiaries of the causeway and that this justifies a toll-system. Referring to similar systems in the United States, Marlin reasoned that without it, French-side residents would get the benefits of something they never paid for.

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Comments (1)

 

  1. islander says:

    There we go again.Mr William Marlin have never accepted St. Martin /St. Maarten as one island using each others public facilities without hundrances. Isn”t this the Curacao man mentality .We are already paying for the causeway indirectly
    through higher container taxes higher food prices ect. Should this proposition of your should materialize then we would have no other alternative than to also seek a toll fee for the dutch side vehicles and boats that are using the bridge in sandy ground. After all exchange is no robbery. Just food for tought

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