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It is expected that 6,700 jobs will be created for Jamaicans, with the $36 billion (US$400 million) islandwide road repair project, which is being implemented by the National Works Agency (NWA).
The work, which will begin later this year and completed in the course of five years, will be carried out under the Jamaica Development Infrastructure Programme (JDIP).
This was revealed by Minister of Transport and Works, Hon. Michael Henry, during the St. Catherine launch of the multi-billion dollar project, at the Ebony Vale Baptist Church, on August 19.
The project is being financed through an agreement between Jamaica and the Government of China.
Mr. Henry said the road works will see the rehabilitation of all roads, both main and parochial, as well as the construction of road furniture, such as bridges, drains and traffic systems.
He informed that the China Harbour Engineering Co. Ltd. (CHEC) has been contracted to carry out the road and infrastructure works, adding that China has provided funding through the Export- Import (EXIM) Bank of China at an interest rate of three per cent, which has been augmented by the Road Maintenance Fund (RMF), through the collection of the fuel cess.
Mr. Henry noted that the JDIP is geared at significantly improving the island’s long neglected road network, in an effort to improve the lives of the people and foster national economic growth.
“The JDIP is an innovative partnership between the government of Jamaica and the Government of China and is singly the largest, most comprehensive infrastructural programme to be implemented in Jamaica,” he pointed out.
Chief Executive Officer of the NWA, Patrick Wong said the main objectives of the programme are to increase the driver comfort along all roadways in Jamaica, to improve road safety and to increase the capacity of the roads to handle vehicular traffic.
“We will be rehabilitating not just the main roads, but the parish council roads and the housing scheme roads throughout the island,” he informed.
Mr. Wong said the project will also see to the improvement of traffic management in towns and city centres and more effective periodic maintenance of road infrastructure.
“Patching the roads is not good enough, we need to now seal these roads, so that they can be taken off the books for at least another seven to 10 years,” he emphasised.
In his remarks, Deputy Mayor of St. Catherine, Councillor Owen Palmer said the project is an extremely important one, which “excites the people of the St. Catherine Parish Council.”
He extended gratitude to the Chinese Government for providing “the necessary funding to assist the NWA in implementing this massive infrastructural programme.”
General Manager of the CHEC, Zhondong Tang said the company will be encouraging its local subcontractors to provide jobs where possible for the local residents and to make the conditions around the roadwork conducive to the daily lifestyle of the members of the community.
“We also vouch to be environmentally aware, creating as little disturbance as possible to the natural habitat,” he said.
He said the company, in order to share its first world engineering experience and knowledge with Jamaica, will be hosting an Engineering Conference on September 23 and 24 at the Wyndham Kingston Hotel.
“We will be inviting the engineers, administrators and technicians from the NWA and Jamaica civil engineers to participate in this learning experience whereby the very best of the China Harbour Engineers will be presenting,” he informed.
Some of the roads that will be rehabilitated under the programme in St. Catherine include, the Fairview Park Housing Scheme, Old Harbour to Old Harbour Bay, Worthy Park to Ewarton, Brunswick Avenue, Monk Street and Naggo Head to Dawkins Pen.

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