JIS News

Government has paid out over $160 million for post-Hurricane Ivan rehabilitative work, which was carried out on the nation’s roads following the passage of the category four hurricane in September.
Explaining, Minister of State in the Ministry of Transport and Works, Dr. Fenton Ferguson said, “an additional $40 million will be paid out between today and early next week.” This is from a total estimated sum of $224 million.
He was addressing reporters yesterday (December 3) at the contract signing ceremony for two contracts to fix main roads in southern Trelawny. The signing took place at the Ministry’s Maxfield Avenue offices in Kingston.
Minister of Transport and Works, Robert Pickersgill, who also spoke at the ceremony, responded to recent Opposition arguments that contractors had not been paid for emergency work carried out in the post-Hurricane Ivan period.
“As far as I have been advised by the NWA, all bills that have been properly done up and certified and sent in, have been looked after, or we are in the process of looking after those bills. No parliamentarian is authorised to instruct the Works Agency or to give out any work,” he said.
The Transport Minister also informed reporters that he had requested a report on the situation in St. Thomas, where the complaint was made, to ascertain its validity. “If the certification is up-to-date and it is properly done, the contractor or contractors will be paid,” Minister Pickersgill assured.
With regard to the maintenance of the nation’s thoroughfares inclusive of bushing and drain cleaning, Minister Ferguson informed that work was continuing in that regard. “So far we are in the process of evaluating 55 contracts. Twenty-eight are in an advanced state, and others are presently out to tender,” he said.
Meanwhile, in response to public concern about the level of traffic expected to come into and through Kingston with the opening of Highway 2000, Dr. Ferguson outlined the Government’s plan to manage the increased traffic flows.
“Based on cooperation and collaboration between the NWA (National Works Agency), NROCC (National Road Operating and Constructing Company), and Transjamaica, a strategic study of critical corridors in Kingston and St. Andrew will be undertaken, to be completed by February of next year,” he disclosed.

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