Work under the Jamaica Emergency Employment Programme (JEEP) forms part of activities to commence this month through the Major Infrastructure Development Programme (MIDP), for which some $2.5 billion has been budgeted.
As detailed in the 2013/14 Estimates of Expenditure, currently being reviewed by Parliament’s Standing Finance Committee, the MIDP aims to continue road improvement works and attendant activities islandwide.
Envisaged targets include: rehabilitation of approximately 430 kilometres of roads, deemed in need of urgent attention to facilitate seamless vehicular movement; rehabilitation or construction of 27 bridges and retaining walls, and executing supporting protective works identified by the National Works Agency (NWA); completion of sub-projects started under the Jamaica Development Infrastructure Programme (JDIP); and the provision of employment under JEEP.
Several groundwork activities have been carried out, ahead of this month’s scheduled start of the MIDP. These include: Cabinet’s approval for the firm, China Harbour Engineering Company (CHEC) engagement as the contractor; conclusion and signing of project agreement between the Government and CHEC; and completion of an engineering feasibility study.
Activities scheduled for this year include: commencement work to effect repairs to community roads, retaining walls and drainage structures under JEEP; awarding of contracts to rehabilitate six roads, including Windsor to Seaman’s Valley to Moore Town, Portland; Chovey to Claremont, St. Mary; Riley to Glasgow, and Silver Spring to Green Island, Hanover; Mandeville to Spur Tree via Swaby’s Hope, Manchester; and May Pen to Hayes, Clarendon.
In addition, contracts are slated to be awarded for the reconstruction of bridges at Vanity Fair, St. Mary; Latium, St. James; Jacob River, Portland; and Silent Hill, Clarendon.
The Ministry of Transport, Works and Housing is spearheading implementation of the activities.
The four-year project, being jointly funded by the Government and China EXIM Bank, is scheduled for completion in March 2016.
By Douglas McIntosh, JIS Reporter