Although declining revenue and growing debt have forced the Bahamas government to put several projects on hold, including a national drug plan and a new hospital and judicial complex in Nassau, the Nassau Harbor Port Improvement Project remains a priority development, as does a road improvement project in downtown Nassau, according to Prime Minister Hubert Ingraham.

The purpose of the harbor project, which is expected to be completed a year from now, is to deepen and widen the channel and upgrade the harbor area to accommodate Royal Caribbean's Genesis class of cruise ships.

In addition, the project calls for a waterfront promenade, repairs to existing piers and construction of new security and support facilities at Prince George Wharf, where the ships now dock.

Ingraham said that "the present circumstances require difficult choices; that is, establishing priority among key projects to bring our infrastructure to modern standards."

The harbor project will "significantly improve the tourism product" and the road development will alleviate "intolerable traffic congestion" for locals as well as visitors.

The postponed projects will be introduced in stages at a later date, Ingraham said.

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