Over $143 million is to be spent over the next nine months rehabilitating 18 roads in five rural parishes, under phase two of the European Union’s FLEX Programme.
The contracts were signed Thursday (September 16), at the Department of Local Government, Hagley Park Road, Kingston.
Approximately 10 kilometres of roadway will be rehabilitated in Hanover, St. James, Trelawny, St. Ann and St. Catherine. The scope of work will include bushing, patching, double-surface dressing, construction of retaining walls and drain sections and laying of base course and sub-base material.
Minister of State with responsibility for Local Government, Hon Robert Montague (seated, centre) and Manager of Odel Allen Construction, Vincent Collins (seated right), sign the contract for road works to be carried out in St. James under the European Union’s FLEX Programme, at a ceremony at the Department of Local Government, Thursday (September 16). Witnessing the signing are (left to right): Head of the European Union Delegation in Jamaica, Ambassador Marco Mazzocchi Alemanni; Mayor of Montego Bay, Councillor Charles Sinclair; Councillor for the Montego Bay North East Division, Mexine Bisasor; Councillor for the Spring Gardens Division, Richard Solomone; and Member of Parliament for St. James West Central, Clive Mullings.
Minister of State with responsibility for Local Government, Hon Robert Montague, noted that the signing would “affect the lives of many communities”. He also charged the five contractors responsible for carrying out the works, to ensure that they are completed on time and within budget.
“I further charge the Parish Councils to monitor the work closely, and to make sure that we make good on our side of the bargain, so that the funds provided by our international partner are effectively utilised,” he added.
Minister of Water and Housing and Member of Parliament for North West St. James, Dr. Horace Chang, thanked the European Union (EU) for its contribution to improving Jamaica’s road network, saying the improvements would bring great benefits to the communities.
“This kind of work, when put into rural districts, does contribute significantly to development and the growth process. If the road is adequate and water supply and electricity is adequate, production increases, more people will move in and build and occupy and this contributes to long-term development,” Dr. Chang explained.
Head of the European Union Delegation in Jamaica, Ambassador Marco Mazzocchi Alemanni (fourth from left), presents Member of Parliament for St. Ann North Eastern Shahine Robinson (third from left), and Member of Parliament for St. Ann South Eastern, Lisa Hanna, with copies of contracts for road works to be carried out in St. James under the European Union’s FLEX Programme, during a ceremony at the Department of Local Government, Thursday (September 16). Looking on are (left to right): Minister of State with responsibility for Local Government, Hon Robert Montague; Mayor of St. Ann’s Bay, Councillor Ivan Anderson; and Director of Chin’s Equipment Rentals and Construction, Fay Chin.
The EU’s FLEX Programme was initiated by the Office of the Prime Minister (OPM), through its Department of Local Government, in an effort to facilitate the rehabilitation of parochial roads, islandwide.
Under the agreement, the EU has provided 2 million pound to be spent over a three-year period in the rehabilitation of roads in nine parishes, with road improvements being undertaken in two phases. Under phase one, implemented August 2008 to June 2009, 16 roads were rehabilitated in the parishes of Clarendon, Manchester, St. Elizabeth and Westmoreland, at a cost of $90.6 million.
Head of the EU Delegation in Jamaica, Ambassador Marco Mazzocchi Alemanni, noted that while the money allocated for the projects were not large sums, they were “very, very useful” for some local communities.