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The Government will commence the Montego Bay Waterfront Protection Project in the upcoming fiscal year with an allocation of $400 million.

Details are given in the 2019/20 Estimates of Expenditure, now before the House of Representatives.

Activities under the project, which are expected to begin in April 2019, involve the rehabilitation of the Montego Bay Groynes. This is to reduce the loss of beachfront acreage to coastal erosion and protect valuable coastal resources along the Montego Bay Waterfront and marine ecosystems in the area.

A groyne is a rigid structure built from an ocean shore (in coastal engineering) or from a bank (in rivers) that interrupts water flow and limits the movement of sediment. It is usually made out of wood, concrete or stone.

In the ocean, groynes create beaches or prevent them being washed away by longshore drift (a geological process that consists of the transportation of sediments – clay, silt, sand and shingle – along a coast parallel to the shoreline).

Up to December 2018 under the project, drawings and tender documents for the pilot (Southern Groyne) had been completed; and Terms of Reference completed for updated designs for all other groynes.

The project, which is being implemented by the Ministry of Economic Growth and Job Creation, through funding from the Government of Jamaica, is expected to end in March 2021.