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Cabinet has approved the Road Sector Policy, which has been incorporated into the National Transport Policy document, which speaks to the 10-year road maintenance master plan.
This was disclosed by Minister without Portfolio in the Ministry of Finance and the Public Service, Senator Dwight Nelson, at a post-Cabinet press briefing at Jamaica House, on Wednesday (October 8).
“Road maintenance is one of the grave concerns among the citizens of Jamaica and we’re not only talking about the main roads, we’re talking about the arterial roads, farm roads, those roads which facilitate marketing of production, which facilitate products coming out of the hills to the closest points of collection for marketing. That maintenance plan addresses the complete and comprehensive approach to road maintenance and road repairs,” he added.
The Minister noted that fortunately for the country, Bouygues Travaux Publics Jamaica Limited, contractor for Highway 2000, “had agreed and has just completed the repairs to the Bog Walk Gorge.”
He said the company incorporated a new approach, using concrete instead of pure asphalt, “which we hope will last for a long time, and we have had to come up with a plan which speaks to maintaining our roads over an extended period of time, rather than taking an ad hoc approach.”
On another matter, he informed that Cabinet approved the issue of land bonds for the purchase of lands for the completion of the northern coastal highway project. “There are three parcels of land which are necessary to acquire and Cabinet has approved the acquisition of these parcels of land under the authority granted to the State to acquire lands. Cabinet has voted the sum of $56 million for the purchase of these lands,” Senator Nelson said.
He added that Cabinet also noted the award of Emergency contracts between $4 million and $15 million, and contracts with values above $15 million, which took place between September 2007 and May 2008.
“Cabinet also approved the award of a contract valued at $16.5 million to Howard Construction Company, for the construction of a cold storage facility at the Agricultural Export Complex, at the Donald Sangster International Airport,” the Minister informed.
The annual reports for the Jamaica Deposit Insurance Corporation and the Students’ Loan Bureau, were submitted and approved by Cabinet. “These reports will now be tabled in Parliament for Parliamentary examination and approval,” Senator Nelson said.