Churchill–Roosevelt Highway

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Churchill–Roosevelt Highway
Route information
Length35 km (22 mi)
ExistedMarch 1942–present
Major junctions
West endBarataria, San Juan
Major intersectionsValsayn
East endWallerfield
CountryTrinidad and Tobago
Major citiesArima, Tunapuna, San Juan, Sangre Grande (soon)
Highway system

The Churchill–Roosevelt Highway, sometimes refers to as CRH, is the major east–west highway on Trinidad island in Trinidad and Tobago.

It runs for 35 km (22 mi) from Barataria in the west (where it joins the Beetham Highway) to Wallerfield in the east (south of Arima) where it ends in the former US Army base on Fort Read. It crosses the north–south Uriah Butler Highway (UBH) at Valsayn. Constructed during World War II to connect the US Army base with Port of Spain, the highway was named for the two wartime leaders, Winston Churchill and Franklin D. Roosevelt.

Construction began in December 1941 and was completed in March 1942. Originally reserved for the US armed forces, the road was turned over to the Government of Trinidad and Tobago on October 24, 1949.


The Churchill-Roosevelt Highway can be considered the most important highway in the country, running alongside the densely populated East-West Corridor, with an estimated population of 600,000. Because of this, it is often extremely congested.


The Churchill-Roosevelt highway begins at the Barataria interchange, where it becomes the Beetham Highway heading west into Port of Spain. The highway then passes south of San Juan and through El Socorro/Aranguez. Soon after the Aranguez overpass, the highway intersects with the north-south Uriah Butler Highway just west of Valsayn. The highway continues eastwards past Curepe, St. Augustine, Tunapuna and Trincity. At the Piarco intersection, BWIA Boulevard provides direct access to the Piarco International Airport, south of the highway. The highway then continues past Maloney, Mausica and Arima. The highway terminates at a junction with Antigua Road in Wallerfield.


Despite being one of the most important highways in the country, it is not entirely grade separated. Every major intersection after Curepe is signalized, leading to gridlock traffic congestion during peak times. The Barataria interchange connects to Morvant and Barataria via a connector road, while the Aranguez and Curepe interchanges are simple overpasses. The Grand Bazaar interchange is the largest and most important of the interchanges on the entire highway system, where it crosses the Uriah Butler Highway.

The highway is a 6 lane dual carriageway from Barataria to Mausica, and then narrows to 4 lanes before terminating at Wallerfield. It is notable though that some sections of the highway contain additional lines and divided frontage roads. At the Grand Bazaar interchange, the underpass is 2 lanes westward and 3 lanes eastward with the north to west and east to south ramps respectively carrying 2 lanes each, hence there being as much as 9 lanes on the highway at this point. There is also a frontage road on the eastbound lane from Valpark to Grand Bazaar, which provides access to Bamboo No. 2 and 3, as well as the exits to the northbound and southbound lanes of the Uriah Butler Highway from the east. At this point, the highway carries as much as 10 lanes due to an additional 2 lanes on the westbound lane for merging purposes. At the Curepe interchange, divided frontage roads also add to the number of lanes, with as much as 10 lanes. After these major interchanges, additional lanes are only joined to the highway at junctions for turning or merging.

There are 6 pedestrian overpasses along the course of the highway between Barataria and Macoya. [1]

Exit list[edit]

The following table lists the major junctions along the Churchill–Roosevelt Highway. The entire route is located in Trinidad.

San Juan–LaventilleSan Juan4.83.0Beetham Highway  – San Juan, Port of Spain, Diego MartinWestern terminus; Continuation from San Juan. Kilometer-based exit numbers continue from the Beetham Highway
4.823.006Lady Young Road
7Don Miguel RoadNorth access from CRH eastbound only. South access from CRH westbound only.
8El Socorro Ext. Road #1, Sadhoo Trace, Chanka TraceAccess from CRH westbound only.
9Oudan RoadAccess from CRH eastbound only.
10El Socorro Road, El Socorro Ext. Road #2, Aranguez/El Socorro Access RoadNorth access from CRH eastbound only. South access from CRH westbound only.
11Cyrus TraceAccess from CRH westbound only.
12Chootoo RoadAccess from CRH westbound only.
8.15.013Aranguez Road, Samaroo Road, Garden Road
Valsayn9.45.814Uriah Butler Highway  – Chaguanas, Couva, San Fernando
 – Eric Williams Medical Sciences Complex
Interchange with Uriah Butler Highway
Tunapuna–Piarco15Cipriani CollegeAccess from CRH eastbound only.
16Prince Charles AvenueAccess from CRH eastbound only.
17Morequito AvenueAccess from CRH westbound only.
18Queen Elizabeth AvenueAccess from CRH eastbound only.
19Taguaria RoadAccess from CRH westbound only.
Curepe11.57.120Southern Main Road
Saint Augustine21Evans StreetAccess from CRH eastbound only.
12.88.022University of the West Indies
College Street
Temporary Traffic Lights
Tunapuna23Stratham Lodge RoadAccess from CRH eastbound only.
13.88.624Pasea Main RoadTemporary Traffic Lights
25Centenary StreetNorth access from CRH eastbound only. South access from CRH westbound only.
Macoya14.79.126Macoya RoadTemporary Traffic Lights. To be replaced by interchange.
27Tissue DriveAccess from CRH eastbound only.
Tacarigua169.928Orange Grove RoadTemporary Traffic Lights. May be replaced by interchange.
29Savannah DriveAccess from CRH eastbound only.
Trincity30Beaulieu AvenueAccess from CRH eastbound only.
181131Trincity Central RoadTemporary Traffic Lights. To be replaced by interchange.
Piarco32Exposition DriveAccess from CRH eastbound only.
19.912.433  – Piarco International Airport
BWIA Boulevard
Golden Grove Road
Temporary Traffic Lights. To be replaced by interchange.
34Piarco Old RoadAccess from CRH eastbound only.
Arima35Maloney BoulevardAccess from CRH eastbound only.
36Santa Barbara's Primary SchoolAccess from CRH westbound only.
23.614.737Mausica RoadTemporary Traffic Lights. May be replaced by interchange.
38Andrew Lane, Signature BoulevardNorth access from CRH eastbound only. South access from CRH westbound only.
39Santa Rosa Race CourseAccess from CRH westbound only.
Arima25.816.040O'Meara Road
 – Arima Hospital
Temporary Traffic Lights. To be replaced by interchange.
41De Freitas RoadAccess from CRH westbound only.
28.117.542Tumpuna RoadTemporary Traffic Lights. To be replaced by interchange.
Tunapuna–PiarcoArima43Pinto RoadTemporary Traffic Lights.
30.318.844Demarara RoadTemporary Traffic Lights.
45Cumuto RoadTemporary Traffic Lights.
34.821.646Antigua RoadEastern temporary terminus
Sangre GrandeCumuto47Cumuto RoadFuture interchange on new freeway to be constructed
Sangre Grande48Eastern Main RoadFuture interchange on new freeway to be constructed
49Ojoe Road
 – Sangre Grande Hospital
Future interchange on new freeway to be constructed
553450Toco Main RoadFuture Eastern temporary terminus
1.000 mi = 1.609 km; 1.000 km = 0.621 mi


When WWII commenced, Trinidad became an important strategic point in the war effort. Through the Bases Agreement signed by British PM, Sir Winston Churchill, and the US president, Franklin Delano Roosevelt, Britain got 50 old American destroyers, and the US was granted the right to establish bases in the British Territories. Although the US Army had several bases on the island by 1941, the most important were Chaguaramas and the Air Base at Wallerfield, called Fort Read. The road communications between the Port of Spain (POS) and Fort Read near Cumuto was problematic as it consisted solely of the crowded Eastern Main Road, which slowed down the large convoys moving between the two bases. The decision was made in 1941 to build a military two lane paved road between Fort Read and the Morvant Junction of the Eastern Main Road just outside POS (the extension of the highway, the Beetham Highway, would not be built until the 1950s.)

Work began almost immediately, with the highway forever bisecting rural communities like St. Augustine, El Socorro and Tacarigua. Many crop farmers had to be moved as bulldozers ploughed the course. This era in history is documented in Samuel Selvon's classic novel, A Brighter Sun, where an inexperienced Indian youth is thrust headlong into the highway-building process. When the road was opened in 1942, it was the finest road in the island, being smooth and pothole free from end to end. It was not immediately asphalted, as it was pressed into service for the convoys almost as soon as the way was graded (a stark contrast to our roads today). Wilson Minshall, father of masman Peter Minshall, remarked “The new Roosevelt–Churchill Highway has swept across the country from Cumuto to a point near Laventille with the force of a flood rushing into a quiet valley. Cleared and graded but not yet surfaced, its naked earth weaves and interweaves protesting patterns under the wheels of army trucks and construction tractors that cannot wait until the road is finished.

Opened in 1942 and reserved exclusively for military traffic, with exceptions being made for top-ranking civil service personnel. Military police in jeeps constantly patrolled the 15 mile road looking for violators.

The highway was finally opened up for civilian use on October 4, 1949.

Auxiliary Routes[edit]

  • EMR/CRH Link/Lady Young Road South - This route provides access to Lady Young Road, an alternative route into Port of Spain, and the Eastern Main Road at Barataria.
  • Aranguez/El Socorro Access Road - This route provides access to El Socorro North from the Aranguez Overpass.
  • Churchill Roosevelt Highway Frontage Road - This route runs alongside the westbound lane of the highway at Valsayn, providing access to the southbound and northbound ramps and connecting Bamboo No. 2 with Grand Bazaar and the westbound lane of the highway.

Planned extensions and upgrades[edit]

There are currently plans to extend the Churchill–Roosevelt Highway from Wallerfield to Manzanilla as a fully grade separated four-lane expressway.[2] These plans have begun with the widening of the highway from Mausica to Maloney to six-lanes, and construction of the section that bisects the Aripo Savanna.[3]

Much of the highway suffers from congestion due to an aging collection of traffic lights on most major junctions. There are plans to convert the entire highway into a grade separated expressway including the construction of new interchanges. Notable are the Uriah Butler Highway interchange just west of Valsayn and the Curepe Interchange at the intersection with the Southern Main Road.[4]


  1. ^ Vende, Jensen La (2022-06-27). "Police plead with pedestrians to use walkovers". Trinidad and Tobago Newsday. Retrieved 2022-07-27.
  2. ^ "Unease by Grande residents, experts over $1.7B CR Highway extension". T&T Guardian. Retrieved 23 February 2023.
  3. ^ Widening of the Churchill Roosevelt Highway (from Mausica to Maloney Intersections), retrieved 2022-07-25
  4. ^ HasSanali, Shal-Iza. "Govt to fast track three more interchanges in East by 2022". Retrieved 2022-07-25.