No Toll on Upgraded Road to St. Thomas and Portland

Photo: Yhomo Hutchinson Prime Minister, the Most Hon. Andrew Holness (2 nd left), responds to a question during the second ‘HOPE for Jamaica’ town hall meeting, organised by the Ministry of Economic Growth and Job Creation, at the old Goodyear factory complex in Morant Bay, St. Thomas, on July 13. Others (from left) are: Local Government and Community Development Minister, Hon. Desmond McKenzie; Minister without Portfolio, Ministry of Economic Growth and Job Creation, Hon. Daryl Vaz; and State Minister in the Ministry of Education, Youth and Information, Hon. Floyd Green.

Story Highlights

  • Prime Minister, the Most Hon. Andrew Holness, has emphasised that motorists will not be charged a toll to use the 110-kilometre roadway between Harbour View, Kingston, and Port Antonio, Portland, that is slated for rehabilitation under the Southern Coastal Highway Improvement Project (SCHIP).
  • “Absolutely not. There is no plan whatsoever for a toll road here...it was never contemplated. This is the only route into this part of the island, and you can only put a toll road where there is an alternative route,” he pointed out.
  • Meanwhile, Mr. Holness advised that the Port Authority of Jamaica plans to upgrade the Bowden wharf in St. Thomas to a bulk port to facilitate the movement of aggregates, such as stone, which are used in construction and other activities.

Prime Minister, the Most Hon. Andrew Holness, has emphasised that motorists will not be charged a toll to use the 110-kilometre roadway between Harbour View, Kingston, and Port Antonio, Portland, that is slated for rehabilitation under the Southern Coastal Highway Improvement Project (SCHIP).

“Absolutely not. There is no plan whatsoever for a toll road here…it was never contemplated. This is the only route into this part of the island, and you can only put a toll road where there is an alternative route,” he pointed out.

The Prime Minister was responding to questions from residents during the second ‘HOPE for Jamaica’ town hall meeting at the old Goodyear factory complex in Morant Bay, St. Thomas, on July 13, where details of the US$384 million project were outlined.

The work, to be carried out by China Harbour Engineering Company Limited (CHEC), will entail realignment and widening of the roadway to four lanes, and rehabilitation of the road from Morant Bay to Cedar Valley.

Loan funding has been provided by the China EXIM Bank, and work is expected to get underway in early 2018.

Meanwhile, Mr. Holness advised that the Port Authority of Jamaica plans to upgrade the Bowden wharf in St. Thomas to a bulk port to facilitate the movement of aggregates, such as stone, which are used in construction and other activities.

This, he said, is aimed at ensuring the road’s longevity by preserving it as best as possible against elements that could potentially damage the surface.

The Prime Minister anticipates that the proposed facility could be leveraged and would be pivotal in developing a potential limestone industry in St. Thomas, which has significant reserves of this mineral.

“St. Thomas can become a major player in the mining industry (by providing) limestone and other aggregate materials, as part of the general development of the parish.

But when we build the road, we have to provide a multimodal transport system to offer an alternative to the haulage of aggregates on the road. So, Bowden is going to be developed to move those materials, so as to ease the pressure on the road,” Mr. Holness said.

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