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A contract valued at $1.176 billion for the Washington Boulevard Improvement Project was signed today (October 9), by Minister of Transport and Works, Hon. Michael Henry.
A total of 2.75 kilometres of the roadway along Washington Boulevard and Dunrobin Avenue, in Kingston, will be widened from two lanes to six lanes.
It is expected that work will commence no later than November 2009 and will be completed within 16 months after the commencement of the civil works contract. The project is being funded by the Government and the Caribbean Development Bank.
Addressing the signing ceremony at the Ministry’s Maxfield Avenue offices, Mr. Henry informed that the Washington Boulevard Improvement Project is expected to improve traffic volume capacity, thus reducing traffic congestion along the corridor; improve traffic safety; reduce travel time and overall road transportation/vehicle operating cost; and assist the government with the establishment of a vehicle weight enforcement programme.
The scope of the work will include: construction of four additional traffic lanes and reconstruction of the existing pavement; construction of boundary walls along the new road alignment; construction of sidewalks, kerbs, drains, box culvert and retaining walls and installation of traffic signals at five intersections along the corridor, as well as installation of street lights.
“All land acquisitions have been completed and all boundary walls re-built along the new alignment, save for one property, Dunrobin Plaza, which sits on three septic pits. Major works are required for relocation of the boundary wall at this location. These works, which include the construction of a new sewer system connecting to the National Water Commission’s main sewer, will be undertaken during the civil works contract,” Mr. Henry said.
He also reported that the Jamaica Public Service Company has completed 90 per cent relocation of its utility poles. The remaining poles are located in the vicinity of its sub-station, at the entrance of State Gardens, and these will be replaced by an underground system to be undertaken during the civil works contract.
Telecommunications company, LIME, has also completed 100 per cent relocation of its overhead utilities, while its underground utility system will be undertaken during the road works contract.
Meanwhile, Mr. Henry stated that the National Works Agency (NWA) has been sensitising the various communities located along the project corridor and its environs, about the scope of the project and the attendant changes which are expected to impact their lives and daily routines.
During construction, two lanes of traffic will be maintained. Where detour routes are to be used, it is expected that this will be effectively managed by the contractor, using flag persons and posted warning signs. The Planning and Research Unit at the NWA is presently doing research to identify possible detour routes.
“Where detour routes are identified and found to be in poor condition with regards to the road surface, these roads will be patched or otherwise addressed, in order to bring them to reasonable driving condition,” Mr. Henry said.
“The Ministry and the NWA will, in collaboration with the contractor, endeavour to keep the public informed of developments on the project and will ensure, as well, that environmental specifications are in place,” he added.

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