Kingston to Bushy Park Highway to be Opened Dec. 15


Motorists travelling west through St. Catherine will be able do so much easier very soon, as Phase 1A of Highway 2000 from Kingston to Bushy Park, is scheduled to be opened to the motoring public within two weeks.
Transport and Works Minister, Robert Pickersgill, pointed out today (December 2), that Phase 1A of the government-initiated Highway 2000 project, that spans some 22 kilometres of road, would be opened on Wednesday, December 15.
He added that the toll highway, which connects with the existing toll road in Bushy Park, was constructed within the budgeted cost of US$71 million.
The Minister was speaking at a press briefing, held at the Spanish Town Toll Plaza of Highway 2000.
A tour of the road preceded the briefing, which saw members of the media, persons from agencies closely associated with the project and representatives from various motoring groups in attendance.
“When first proposed, Highway 2000 was envisioned to improve infrastructure and propel economic opportunities leading to meaningful growth for Jamaica. In the six years since Prime Minister P.J. Patterson announced Highway 2000, we have witnessed the realisation of that concept and in the coming days when the Kingston to Bushy Park segment is opened, we will experience another landmark in this country’s history,” Minister Pickersgill said.
He added that the project was a potent response to traffic congestion and also addressed “the issue of economic development in ways that supersede any other project” in which the Jamaican government has been involved.
“Highway 2000 is the catalyst for economic activity. The Highway provides direct and efficient links between the country’s economic centres. The project opens the centre and south of the island to agriculture, tourism and indeed, information technology,” the Minister said.
He explained that the highway should reduce population pressures on urban centres and lead to the development of suburban and rural areas.
“With Highway 2000, we are at once changing the reality of travel and redefining the possibilities for productivity and economic development and that means transforming lives,” the Minister said. The next phase of Highway 2000 will involve the widening of the Portmore Causeway into two three-lane carriageways, and the rehabilitation of the dyke road. A toll plaza is also to be constructed to the west of the Hunt’s Bay bridge. The Minister projected that work on the Portmore Causeway should be completed by 2006.
Turning to the matter of increases in toll rates, the Minister explained that with the opening of the Kingston to Bushy Park leg of the Highway, “motorists will be expected to pay some more tolls”. He noted, however, that definitive rates have not yet been decided on, and recommendations would be made by the highway’s toll regulator, the Toll Authority.
Minister Pickersgill also noted that the possible bands for toll rates were recently advertised and published in the newspapers, resulting in the Ministry receiving various reactions.
“Having analysed and sifted those [reactions], an announcement will be made at the appropriate time shortly,” he advised.
The Minister said the follow-up phase of Highway 2000 would see the construction of a divided double carriageway toll road between Sandy Bay in Clarendon and Williamsfield in Manchester.
Highway 2000 is a partnership between the Government and the private sector. Under the concession agreement, the private sector partner has the responsibility to fund, design, build and operate the highway, which will revert to government control in 35 years at no cost.
Organisations comprising the partnership include the National Road Operating and Constructing Company Limited (NROCC), grantor of the highway; Trans Jamaica Highway Limited (TJH), the highway’s developer; Bouygues Travaux Public, the contractor; and Jamaican Infrastructure Operator.

JIS Social