$2.5 Billion Allocated to Major Infrastructure Programme

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

JIS Social