MANDEVILLE — Minister of Transport and Works, Hon Mike Henry, has said that the expansion of infrastructural projects across Jamaica will increase economic activity.
The Minister said that a number of ongoing or completed projects, including the extension of Highway 2000, are part of Government’s efforts to ensure that the economy grows.
“The expansion will facilitate the connection between the highway and the Vernamfield development, making way for a smooth integration of various modes of transportation,” he explained.
He said that many Jamaicans are in line to benefit from the project and the extended economic activities being implemented to create jobs.
Mr. Henry was speaking at the groundbreaking ceremony for Phase 1B of Highway 2000 on Friday April 8, at Top Halse Hall playfield, Clarendon.
“The Bogue Road is completed, Boscobel aerodrome is opened as the third port of entry, Washington Boulevard is about to be completed, the four-lane highway across Harbour View is to be completed in time for July, the Palisadoes shoreline work has started and the vision of moving transport and its inter-connectivity… creating jobs and opportunities which will continue to grow,” Mr. Henry said.
Also speaking at the function, Minister of Health and Member of Parliament for South East Clarendon, Hon Rudyard Spencer, in welcoming expansion of the highway, noted that road construction projects increase direct and indirect employment, especially for low skilled persons.
He said that a good road network is the foundation on which the housing sector thrives, and self-employment increases as small businesses flourish and help to stem the rural urban drift.
Mr. Spencer said that long-term opportunities will come for persons in the area, as completion of the project should lead to a decline in the cost of some services and an increase in the disposable income of householders.
“I urge motorists and residents in these communities to exercise patience, to cooperate with the workers and do their part in securing the materials provided for road rehabilitation,” he said. “It is in our best interest to do everything to continue towards the completion of this project on time and within budget."
The expansion of Highway 2000 will run from Sandy Bay to May Pen, Clarendon at a cost of US$ 209.8 million, and the project will last for two years.
By GARFIELD L. ANGUS, JIS Reporter