JIS News

The Bog Walk Gorge, which suffered massive scouring from flood waters during the passage of Tropical Storm Gustav, should be fully restored by month-end.
This commitment was given by Transport and Works Minister Michael Henry during a tour of that winding roadway earlier yesterday (Sept. 6).
Minister Henry told JIS News that Bouygues Travaux Publics Jamaica Limited had offered to rebuild the road work free of cost to the Jamaican Government and people, and had committed themselves to the month-end timeline. This came about following an informal meeting with Bouyges Chief Executive Officer, Louis Brais.
“The NWA had started what was their normal procedures [following the flooding] and they (Bougues) have come in now and have now started the work. So they will do the work in here for 3-4 weeks at no cost to the government,” Mr. Henry informed.
He stated that the work would be limited to restoring the roadway but where there are challenges outside of the scope of works, an arrangement has been agreed on. “Great problems will be discussed with me because they have offered a 50 per cent discount on any major work that would have to be done that would not compliment the work overall. So it’s a work in progress and I can assure you that it’s quite a few million dollars that is being spent here and we want to thank Bouygues for that,” he told JIS News.
He added that it was an offer that was very helpful to the government and the country. Meanwhile, Mr. Brais noted that the greatest challenge faced in executing the project was doing so within the projected deadline.
“The reason why we made the call to Minister Henry is that Bouygues was in a unique position because of our equipment located on Highway 2,000 to react very quickly and so with the relationship developed over the last seven years it was almost our responsibility of duty to come to the assistance of the Jamaican Government after Gustav,” he said.
He said that from what he had seen the roadway had been totally washed away in at least five areas and he was aware that with the volume of work been undertaken by NWA their resources were stretched, hence the offer from the road construction company.
Chief Executive Officer of the NWA, Milton Hodlin also told JIS News that the NWA would be collaborating on the project in an overseeing role, adding that other areas will be looked at, such as de-silting of certain key areas of the river, overhanging cliffs, and other issues outside of the scope of to be carried out by Bouygues.