Gov’t Signs US$20.5 Million Contract to Widen Marcus Garvey Drive

Photo: Dave Reid Minister of Transport, Works and Housing, Dr. the Hon. Omar Davies (right), engages in conversation with Chinese Ambassador to Jamaica, Niu Qingbao, during the signing ceremony for a US$20.5 million contract for the rehabilitation and widening of the Marcus Garvey Drive roadway. The signing ceremony was held on February 4, at the Ministry’s head office in Kingston.

Story Highlights

  • Work to rehabilitate and widen the Marcus Garvey Drive roadway in Kingston will commence this month.
  • The project is being undertaken under the Major Infrastructure Development Programme (MIDP) of the Ministry of Transport, Works and Housing through a concessionary loan from the Chinese government.
  • The roadway is a key link to the Kingston Container Terminal and the Norman Manley International Airport.

Work to rehabilitate and widen the Marcus Garvey Drive roadway in Kingston will commence this month, following the signing of a US$20.5 million contract between the Government and contractor, China Harbour Engineering Company Limited (CHEC) on Thursday (February 4).

The project is being undertaken under the Major Infrastructure Development Programme (MIDP) of the Ministry of Transport, Works and Housing through a concessionary loan from the Chinese government.

Under the contract, which was signed at the Ministry’s head office in Kingston, approximately 2½ kilometres of roadway between East Avenue and Harbour Street will be widened to increase the number of lanes from four to six.

Portfolio Minister, Dr. the Hon. Omar Davies, said the project, to be completed in 14 months, will have impact on the economic and social life of the country as the roadway provides access to one of the island’s main commercial districts, downtown Kingston, as well as the Newport West transportation hub.

The roadway is a key link to the Kingston Container Terminal and the Norman Manley International Airport.

Dr. Davies said the project comes out of awareness that the section of the corridor between East Avenue and Water Lane is in need of additional capacity.

He informed that a National Works Agency (NWA) survey indicates that some 40,000 vehicles travel along the roadway daily in both directions.

Dr. Davies noted that when the project is completed, motorists can expect a 30 per cent improvement in travel time along the corridor. “There will be a reduction of traffic on the road, thus increasing safety and the quality of life in surrounding communities,” he pointed out.

The project also includes the realignment of a section of the corridor to improve the transition on to Harbour Street, as well as the installation and upgrade of seven traffic signals with pedestrian facilities.

Sidewalks will also be installed on both sides of the roads to ensure pedestrian security, and the requisite signs and road markings will be put in place.

Dr. Davies said the project is expected to be a leader in the improvement of drainage infrastructure.

He said all efforts will be made to reduce the impact on commuters and business and minimise disruption during the roadworks.

Chinese Ambassador, Niu Qingbao, in remarks at the ceremony, said his Government is happy to be of assistance, and noted that the project is a symbol of the friendship between the Chinese people and Jamaicans.

Kingston and St. Andrew Mayor, Senator Councillor Dr. Angela Brown Burke, also hailed the project for the impact it will have on reducing congestion and alleviating the risk of flooding.

JIS Social