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Gov’t Considering New Alignment to Replace Junction Route

By: , January 16, 2023
Gov’t Considering New Alignment to Replace Junction Route
Photo: Yhomo Hutchinson
Prime Minister, the Most Hon. Andrew Holness, addresses the hand over ceremony for the Port Maria Fire Station in St. Mary on Friday (January 13).

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The Government is considering a new alignment to replace the existing roadway from Kingston to St. Mary via the Junction route.

Prime Minister, the Most Hon. Andrew Holness, made the disclosure during Friday’s (January 13) hand over of the new Port Maria Fire Station.

He noted that investments have been made in repairing part of the road but “it is a treacherous area to work in because of the soil type. What it would require to do the entire stretch, to build it in such a way that you guard against all the potential risks of slippage, both from the hillside and the river side, would be a massive expenditure.”

“What we’re now doing is trying to identify a new path, because it may be that we have to build an entirely new stretch of road to connect – coming from Stony Hill – using maybe the same direction, same pathway, but not the same alignment,” he noted.

The Prime Minister said that “no amount of patching” can repair the existing road or give it a guarantee of long-term service, noting that “the road has outlived its useful life.”

He said that similar investment to the one being made on the Southern Coastal Highway Improvement Project, which stretches from Harbour View in Kingston through St. Thomas and to Port Antonio, may have to be made.

At the same time, he is urging Jamaicans to appreciate that some of the challenges being faced with regard to the roadways “cannot be solved overnight”.

“All those roads were built 80 years ago…none of them were built to the standards that we expect now. When they were built, no one thought that they would be carrying the volume of traffic that they are carrying. Those were tracks that were traversed by donkey carts; they were never built with…the subbase and the revetments and retaining walls that are necessary. So, we will have to make new investments in those roads,” Mr. Holness said.

He indicated that in his budget presentation, later this year, he will “speak some more on how we intend to treat with that”.

Last Updated: January 16, 2023

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