JIS News

Construction work to restore the Yallahs fording in St. Thomas, which was washed away by Hurricane Ivan more than two weeks ago, has been completed and is opened to motorists.
The new concrete bridge, to accommodate two-lane traffic, has been built by Bouygues Travaux Publics and Pre-Mix Company, in collaboration with the National Works Agency (NWA).
Minister of Transport and Works, Robert Pickersgill, along with State Minister in the Ministry, Dr. Fenton Ferguson and Project Director at Bouygues Travaux Publics, Jean-Noel Foulard visited the fording yesterday (September 29) to examine the bridge.
In an interview with JIS News, Minister Pickersgill said he was pleased with the quality of work done. He also thanked Bouygues Travaux Publics for building the bridge and described the company as “an excellent corporate citizen”.
“This is really a gift to the Government of Jamaica. I feel very proud for their co-operation and helpfulness since Ivan, not only with the Palisadoes road but with this and other ways. They have been simply tremendous,” he said.
The Minister said that the design work for a permanent bridge at the fording was being done and tenders should be out within the next six months.
Commenting on the sand mining in the Yallahs area, Minister Pickersgill said that steps would be taken to monitor sand operators. He said that some truck drivers continued to ignore the weight restrictions, citing the damage done to the main road between Harbour View and Yallahs.
“It just cannot continue and the scales will be introduced and those illegal operators will be dealt with,” he stressed.
In his remarks, Dr. Ferguson said the new structure was a “significant improvement” to the road condition at the fording. He emphasised, however, that the bridge was not a permanent one.