Transport, Works and Housing Minister, Dr. the Hon. Omar Davies, says the Ministry has completed preliminary technical work, aimed at effecting improvements to the main corridor linking Kingston with Port Antonio, in Portland.
This, he says, forms part of road improvement works being planned for Portland and St. Thomas. Similar works are being contemplated for the corridor between Mandeville, Manchester and Negril, Westmoreland.
Speaking at Thursday’s (May 9) ceremony for the renaming of the Agualta Vale roundabout in St. Mary to the Robert Schuman Roundabout, Dr. Davies said the Ministry is cognizant that significant segments of the road network in Portland and St. Thomas have deteriorated, and are in need of major repair, to complement improvements done in other parts of the island.
“In order to complete the circle (of improvement works across the country), we need, therefore, to work on that section, from Port Antonio to Kingston. And, I give that commitment that we are going to move forward on that,” the Minister said.
The Agualta Vale roundabout was re-named to recognise Mr. Schuman’s contribution to advancing world peace, as well as the EU’s input in developing the 100-kilometre third segment of the North Coast Highway, between Ocho Rios, St. Ann, and Port Antonio, in Portland.
The EU financed the development at a cost of $10 billion (€80 million), through grant funding, which included re-modelling of the roundabout, situated midway along the corridor.
Dr. Davies noted that the corridor, which forms one third of the over
200- kilometre roadway linking Negril with Port Antonio, has “positively impacted” the lives of the many persons using it.
There has been improved access to major tourism centres, reduction in travel time, and the opportunity for further development in townships and communities through which it passes. Against this background, he gave the administration’s undertaking to improve the island’s infrastructure, particularly the road networks.
Dr. Davies said work will be “actively pursued” to complete some of the projects, which include the May Pen (Clarendon) to Williamsfield (Manchester), and Kingston to Ocho Rios (St. Ann) legs of Highway 2000.
Contact: Douglas McIntosh