Work is scheduled to begin on the Ferry to Linstead leg of Highway 2000 in September.
The highway will bypass the troublesome Bog Walk gorge, which is prone to flooding during periods of heavy rainfall, thereby leaving scores of persons stranded.
Minister of Transport, Works and Housing, Dr. the Hon. Omar Davies, made the announcement as he opened the 2013/14 Sectoral Debate in the House of Representatives on May 7.
Dr. Davies also informed that work has already resumed on the Mount Rosser Bypass, which is section two of the North-South leg of Highway 2000. He explained that several pieces of heavy duty equipment, including trucks, cranes, excavators and bulldozers were imported into the island last week and have been mobilized on the site to facilitate construction.
The Minister said that barring any unforeseen circumstances, this leg of the highway should be completed by next May, thereby reducing the travel time from Linstead to Moneague to 15 minutes.
He further informed that work on section three of the North-South Leg of Highway 2000, which will run from Moneague to Ocho Rios, will start in November.
Dr. Davies said the process of land acquisition is moving ahead and valuations and negotiations are now being carried out by valuators employed by National Road Operating and Constructing Company (NROCC).
The Minister noted that the environmental impact assessments have been completed for both sections and all relevant permits have been issued by the National Environment and Planning Agency (NEPA). He also said the developers are now finalising geotechnical investigations and designs for work and NROCC has convened several public meetings with various stakeholders to discuss the project.
“In short, all systems are ‘go’ for this significant project, which will result in untold benefits for all Jamaica. It will curtail travel time between Kingston and the North Coast; it will result in a reduction of fuel consumption and it will open up Kingston and its environs with several historical and cultural attractions as a tourism destination for visitors based on the North Coast,” Dr. Davies said.
The Minister described the investment by China Harbour Engineering and Construction Company (CHEC), in the North-South leg of Highway 2000 as the “single largest capital project being undertaken in Jamaica.”
Contact: Andrea Braham