A $497 million road rehabilitation contract was signed on Friday August 10 at Culloden, Westmoreland that will improve the roadway between Ferris Cross and Belmont,and also the road between Montego Bay, St. James and Whitehouse, Westmoreland.
Speaking at the signing at the Culloden Vocational Training Centre, Prime Minister, the Most Hon. Portia Simpson Miller said that the project would improve social and economic opportunities on the south coast.
"This major road rehabilitation project will significantly improve the movement of goods and people as well as increase road safety and reduce travel time. Importantly,too, the upgrading of the corridor from Montego Bay to White House and Scott's Cove is of strategic economic importance. It will provide for maximizing tourism and other development opportunities on the south coast," the Prime Minister said.
The works are being done by the Ministry of Transport, Works and Housing,through the National Works Agency (NWA),under the Transportation Infrastructure Rehabilitation Programme which is funded by the Inter American Development Bank (IDB).
The Prime Minister noted that the time had come to focus on the country's "sleeping giant" – the south coast, as it was of strategic economic importance.
"The south coast could well rival the developments we have experienced on the island's north coast. I believe the time has come for us to focus,in a more serious way,on this tremendous development potential… This road infrastructure project is part of the steps being taken to ensure the improvements which can serve as a catalyst for the broader development of the area," the Prime Minister said.
The Prime Minister gave examples of the impact that the road repairs will have: "This project will also benefit our farmers; it will benefit the people of communities like Gordon, Whitehouse, Petersville, Farm, Cave and Ferris. It will benefit investors and people doing business. It will benefit our children attending schools such as the Belmont Academy, Mernsville Junior High, the New Hope Junior High, just to mention a few."
The Prime Minister, who is the Chairman of the National Road Safety Council, also called on the road authorities to give greater consideration to pedestrians and disabled persons who use the roadways.
The road works will be undertaken by Asphaltic Concrete Enterprise.
Contact: Communications Unit-OPM