Prime Minister the Most Hon. Andrew Holness says Jamaica stands to benefit significantly from the Government’s development of several legacy road projects, under the Major Infrastructure Development Programme (MIDP).
These, he says, include: the Barbican Road and Park Road Improvement Projects and Marcus Garvey Drive and Constant Spring Road developments in Kingston and St. Andrew; the Mandela Highway Improvement Project in St. Catherine; and the Ferris to Mackfield Road Rehabilitation Project in Westmoreland.
The Prime Minister said the projects are aimed at significantly improving the targeted roadways to facilitate seamless travel by the commuting public.
He was speaking at Wednesday’s (August 9) contract signing for the US$4.4 million Barbican Road Improvement Project at Jamaica House.
Noting that Jamaica was geographically the centre of the Caribbean, Mr. Holness said it was imperative that challenges with traffic congestion, both in Kingston and the wider country, be addressed.
This, he said, in order to position Jamaica to keep pace with and surpass other cities and countries across the Caribbean “that are moving ahead of us”.
“We must make Kingston (and Jamaica) not just the geographical centre, but the centre of trade, commerce, lifestyle, business, industry, art and culture. We must make Kingston the true pearl of the Caribbean,” the Prime Minister emphasised.
He argued that the foundation that would spur this was a “good, solid road network”, adding that the legacy projects were aimed at facilitating this.
The four-month Barbican Road project, which gets underway in two weeks, will entail significant widening and upgrading in the vicinity of the Barbican Centre, which is expected to alleviate congestion in that area.
The Constant Spring Road project, Mr. Holness said, would enhance economic activity along that corridor, in addition to enabling smoother traffic flow, while advising of plans for a housing development in that area.
He indicated that the Marcus Garvey Drive project is nearing completion, while advising that consideration was being given to extending the Mandela Highway improvement works by an additional 10 kilometres.
The Prime Minister pointed out that the land acquisition process has commenced for the Hagley Park Road improvement project, “which, I think, will significantly improve the gridlock (on the way into) Kingston in the mornings”.
Additionally, he anticipates that renovation of the Ferris to Mackfield road “(which) is in a terrible condition”, would be welcomed by the residents there.
“These legacy projects are a testament of the Government’s commitment to undertake critical infrastructure projects which seek to benefit the entire country,” Mr. Holness stated.