Advertisement
JIS News

The Ministry of Local Government, Community Development and Sport yesterday (November 4) signed contracts valued at $67 million with six construction firms for the rehabilitation of more than 11 kilometres (km) of roadways under the Parish Infrastructure Development Programme (PIDP).
Six roads in St. Thomas totaling 5.9 km and valued at $35.3 million, and five roads in Portland totaling 4.6 km and worth $32.5 million will be rehabilitated under the PIDP which is jointly funded by the Government of Jamaica (GOJ) and the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB).
Speaking at the contract signing, Minister of Local Government, Community Development and Sport, Hon. Portia Simpson Miller said the involvement of the community and the attention paid to design, the drainage and retaining features would mean less challenges for Local Authorities after heavy flooding in the communities.
She explained that, “the Local Authorities have responsibility to monitor the work being done and to expect value for every dollar spent. No shoddy work will be accepted by the Local Authority and the Ministry”.
Further stressing that accountability was the key factor in the process, Mrs. Simpson Miller pointed out that taxpayers and the IDB must be proud of the work done. “Councillors and Members of Parliament must work closely together and be informed of what is happening in their constituency,” she stated.
In addition, she reminded the gathering that the rehabilitation of the roads opened up opportunities for the people in each community. “The children can go to schools and church, and the farmers are able to take their produce to market,” she said.
Minister Simpson Miller said the government’s commitment to building a better road network had called for a serious look at community roads and that the signing was very timely.
In his remarks, Technical Director in the Ministry, Patrick Wong, noted that the projects would be supervised by the staff of the Local Authorities and the Ministry. Mr. Wong added that there would be a six-month maintenance period where sidewalks would be bushed regularly to ensure continued viability of the work done. Work is slated to commence on January 3, 2005 and completed on May 2, 2005.
Under the PIDP, 169 km of roadways have been rehabilitated and 24 km in Westmoreland, Hanover and St. Mary are to be completed by the end of November.
The signing represents the last package of PIDP roads. The contractors are Seematt Construction Company Ltd., Asphalting Specialist Ltd., Construction Solutions Ltd. and Ronham Associates Ltd.