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JIS News

Minister without Portfolio in the Ministry of Finance and the Public Service, Senator Don Wehby, has announced that the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) will be funding the construction of a new bridge to replace the Hope River Bridge, in Harbour View, St. Andrew.
The bridge was destroyed during the passage of Tropical Storm Gustav last month. The Senator, who toured the provisional bridge yesterday (Sept. 11) along with officials from the IDB and representatives from the National Works Agency (NWA), said that the Government is in discussions with the IDB, regarding the financing of the new bridge.
“So we thought it would be very useful to show them the extent of the damage. We thought that would help along the process,” he explained.
Senator Wehby, said that it would cost “anywhere in the region between US$15 million and $20 million to replace the bridge,” and that the IDB would be providing a 20-year loan, at a rate of about five per cent, with a five-year grace period, which he noted was “extremely attractive for the Government of Jamaica.”
He also thanked the IDB for its quick response in providing the funding for the undertaking.
General Manager of the Caribbean Department, at the IDB, Dora Currea, noted that she was happy to have assisted the Jamaican Government in a short period, noting that “we are already thinking about signing tomorrow, the minutes of negotiation, in order to be able to conclude about a $50 million financing for a variety of urgent rehab works in the transportation sector and (at) the top of the list will be this one. So we are very happy to be able to partner with Jamaica and respond to this recent devastation from (Tropical Storm) Gustav.”
Chief Executive Officer (CEO), of the National Works Agency (NWA), Milton Hodelin, noted that with the funding being sourced so early, “it means that the construction period can be reduced.We will be able to time-table the construction which we have already said should be within 15 to 14 months.”