JIS News

Minister of Transport and Works, Robert Pickersgill, today signed a contract with D. Bisasor and Associates to carry out maintenance and patching work on some 52 kilometres of roadway in the northeast Kingston Metropolitan Region (KMR).
Mr. Pickersgill, who also signed on behalf of the National Works Agency (NWA), informed that this was the first maintenance contract approved for funding out of the newly established Road Maintenance Fund. He explained that the work would cover some 39 road sections, which included six ‘A’ classified roads, 10 ‘B’ roads and 23 ‘C’ roads.
The signing took place at the Ministry’s Pawsey Road offices in New Kingston.
The Minister said that in its quest to give value for money, the Ministry and the NWA had included several elements in the project, such as beautification and penalties. He stressed that penalties would be imposed for infractions, and payment of these fines would be deducted from the amount due.
Mr. Pickersgill said the contractor must respond to issues of dust nuisance within 48 hours, and that failure to do so would attract a penalty of $5,000 for any one occurrence. He said the NWA would step in and act at the contractor’s expense. Furthermore, for open excavations such as trenches, and other unfinished preparatory works, the contractor must correct these within 72 hours. A breach would incur a fine of $25,000, he added.
In addition, for excavated material and other debris left on the sidewalk or road reservation for over 72 hours, the penalty is $5,000. The breach of safety implements such as warning signs, cones, caution tape, barriers and safety gear will attract a $20,000 fine.
Regarding beautification, Mr. Pickersgill said there were specific instructions about cutting or mowing grass, pruning trees, watering plants, fertilization to ensure proper growth, pest control and general cleaning and removal of debris.
“These are critical areas, and let me warn that I expect these fundamental accountability issues will be rigorously enforced during the period of the contract. If we are able to do this satisfactorily, I am convinced that a new day has dawned for us and our contractors will finally recognise that it is not business as usual,” the Minister said.
The work to be done include bushing, cleaning of drains, culverts, catch basins and outlets; clearing of minor landslips and silt from the roadway; patching potholes; sealing of cracks; minor repair to some structures; local reconstruction, and beautification.
The northeast KMR is bounded by Constant Spring Road from Manor Park to Half-Way-Tree to Papine, and includes the main roads and bus routes in this area.
“We expect the works to be carried out in accordance with the specifications of the contract, within budget and on time. Let me also state categorically, that no work will be paid for that is incomplete and not in keeping with specifications,” Mr. Pickersgill said.
The Minister also acknowledged the fact that the current rainy period had dealt a severe blow to the road network, causing new potholes and damaging surfaces as well as contributing to drain blockages. He said this situation would be given priority, and currently the Ministry in collaboration with the NWA, was developing a major repair programme to deal with these conditions. The tender notice for this project was advertised last week and would be closed on November 10, he said.

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