Prime Minister Officially Opens Upgraded Marcus Garvey Drive

Photo: Rudranath Fraser Prime Minister, the Most Hon. Andrew Holness (centre), cuts the ribbon to officially open the newly upgraded 2.44-kilometre section of Marcus Garvey Drive, between East Avenue and Harbour Street in Kingston, on Thursday, October 5. The US$20.5 million project was implemented by the Ministry of Economic Growth and Job Creation through the National Works Agency (NWA) and executed by China Harbour Engineering Company Limited (CHEC) under the Government’s Major Infrastructure Development Programme. Sharing in the occasion (from left) are Kingston’s Mayor, Senator Councillor Delroy Williams; Ambassador of the People’s Republic of China to Jamaica, His Excellency Niu Qingbao; Permanent Secretary in the Office of the Prime Minister/Ministry of Economic Growth and Job Creation, Audrey Sewell; Opposition Spokesman on Works, Mikael Phillips; Local Government and Community Development Minister and Member of Parliament for West Kingston where the roadway is located, Hon. Desmond McKenzie; NWA Chief Executive Officer, E.G. Hunter; CHEC Deputy General Manager, Dr. Zhimin Hu; and NWA Communication and Customer Services Manager, Stephen Shaw.

Story Highlights

  • Prime Minister, the Most Hon. Andrew Holness, on Thursday (October 5), officially opened the 2.44-kilometre section of Marcus Garvey Drive between East Avenue and Harbour Street in Kingston, which was upgraded at a cost of US$20.5 million.
  • The project was executed by China Harbour Engineering Company Limited (CHEC) and entailed widening of the roadway from four to six lanes; construction of a median to separate the eastbound from westbound traffic, and sidewalks; installation of traffic signals with pedestrian facilities, street lights and the requisite road signs and makings; and major drainage infrastructure works.
  • Ambassador of the People’s Republic of China to Jamaica, His Excellency Niu Qingbao, who noted that the project “proceeded seamlessly”, said it is a “shining example” of the partnership between the Governments of Jamaica and China, as well as CHEC and the local contractors and workforce.

Prime Minister, the Most Hon. Andrew Holness, on Thursday (October 5), officially opened the 2.44-kilometre section of Marcus Garvey Drive between East Avenue and Harbour Street in Kingston, which was upgraded at a cost of US$20.5 million.

The project was executed by China Harbour Engineering Company Limited (CHEC) and entailed widening of the roadway from four to six lanes; construction of a median to separate the eastbound from westbound traffic, and sidewalks; installation of traffic signals with pedestrian facilities, street lights and the requisite road signs and makings; and major drainage infrastructure works.

These features are expected to significantly improve traffic flow along the roadway, which averages between 32,000 and 40,000 vehicles daily.

The project was spearheaded by the Ministry of Economic Growth and Job Creation through the National Works Agency (NWA), and carried out under the Government’s Major Infrastructure Development Programme.

In his address at the opening ceremony held at the HEART Trust/NTA Garmex Academy on Marcus Garvey Drive, the Prime Minister said the project represents a significant upgrade to what existed.

Noting that the road was previously uneven, had deteriorated and was susceptible to flooding, he said the country now has a first-class highway.

“Our partner, China Harbour Engineering Company, has been able to deliver a modern state-of-the-art highway, and I want to thank them for their solid work,” the Prime Minister said.

Mr. Holness also lauded local contractors and workers who were involved in various aspects of the project.

For her part, Deputy General Manager of CHEC, Dr. Zhimin Hu, said the project’s implementation reflected the outcome of the collaboration of everyone involved, adding that “we have every reason to be proud”.

Ambassador of the People’s Republic of China to Jamaica, His Excellency Niu Qingbao, who noted that the project “proceeded seamlessly”, said it is a “shining example” of the partnership between the Governments of Jamaica and China, as well as CHEC and the local contractors and workforce.

Meanwhile, Local Government and Community Development Minister and Member of Parliament for West Kingston, where the roadway is located, Hon. Desmond McKenzie, said the development is welcome.

He also expressed gratitude on behalf of the residents, and indicated that he is pleased with the quality of the work.

In his remarks, Opposition Spokesman on Works, Mikael Phillips, also lauded all the stakeholders involved in the project’s conceptualisation and execution.

“I commend the National Works Agency, China Harbour and the Government of China, not only for believing in Jamaica, but also for the quality of work that was done,” he said.

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