- Several landmark projects, valued at over $1 billion, are being undertaken this year by the Tourism Product Development Company (TPDCo) and Tourism Enhancement Fund (TEF), in a bid to transform the landscape of several cities and towns islandwide.
- Tourism and Entertainment Minister, Hon. Dr. Wykeham McNeill, said some of the projects are either currently underway or slated to begin shortly in Kingston, Montego Bay, Ocho Rios, Falmouth, and Negril.
- Notable among these is the $400 million Ocho Rios resort upgrading project, in St. Ann, the first two phases of which, Dr. McNeill advised, have been completed.
Several landmark projects, valued at over $1 billion, are being undertaken this year by the Tourism Product Development Company (TPDCo) and Tourism Enhancement Fund (TEF), in a bid to transform the landscape of several cities and towns islandwide.
Making the disclosure during his 2015/16 Sectoral Debate presentation in the House of Representatives, on Tuesday, April 14, Tourism and Entertainment Minister, Hon. Dr. Wykeham McNeill, said some of the projects are either currently underway or slated to begin shortly in Kingston, Montego Bay, Ocho Rios, Falmouth, and Negril.
Notable among these is the $400 million Ocho Rios resort upgrading project, in St. Ann, the first two phases of which, Dr. McNeill advised, have been completed.
“It includes work on the cruise ship terminal and major reconstruction of the Turtle River Road, between the pier and Main Street,” he said.
The Minister indicated that work on phases three and four, slated to commence later this year, will entail reconstruction of the promenade and work on Main Street, including areas earmarked to be pedestrianised.
Dr. McNeill said work has already commenced on the Negril to Sheffield main road in Westmoreland, being repaired at a cost of $280 million
He also advised the House that work on a major transformation project has commenced in Negril, adding that, “work will follow on the beach park, community centre, and craft market, which are slated to begin later this year.”
In relation to the $248 million Elegant Corridor lighting project in Montego Bay, Dr. McNeill indicated that this is scheduled for completion by May 31.
“This project… complements the amazing job that was done on the creation of a museum and the upgrading of the Civic Centre in Sam Sharpe Square,” he outlined.
Regarding Falmouth, the Minister said a streetscape project is currently being implemented, which aims to upgrade the roads, drains, and facades in the town.
“Work has already started on Harbour Lane, and will begin, this week, on Falmouth Street,” he stated.
Dr. McNeill disclosed that two new transformal projects are also slated to be implemented in Kingston and Montego Bay.
He advised that the TEF has allocated $257.8 million to undertake upgrading works along the Kingston Entry Corridor, incorporating Windward Road, from Rockfort to the Mountain View Avenue intersection.
The project, slated to begin this year, will include widening of roadways; drainage improvements; replacement of all surface wiring with underground installations; extensive landscaping; and improved and updated signage.
He explained that the project is necessary as while some sections of the road from the Norman Manley Airport into the city are in good condition, “we can do much better”, for other segments.
The roadway is the sole corridor into the city from the airport, which, the Minister said recorded a 5.1 per cent increase in arrivals, moving from 670,386 in 2013 to 704,644 in 2014.
The Hip Strip is the focus of Montego Bay’s project, for which Dr. McNeill said a “comprehensive” plan will be implemented.
This plan, he pointed out, was decided on following a series of consultations with Montego Bay’s public and private sector stakeholders and community leaders. These included representatives of the Urban Development Corporation (UDC), and National Environment and Planning Agency (NEPA).
“It has been decided that the first step must be to address the unsightly light posts and overhead wiring along the Strip before any further work can be commenced. A team has been determining how this is to be addressed, working alongside the Jamaica Public Service Company (JPS) and the National Works Agency (NWA). We expect to begin this phase of the upgrade of the Hip Strip in this fiscal year,” he said.
Dr. McNeill further advised that work will also start, this year, on converting the Close Harbour Beach, popularly known as Dump Up Beach, in Montego Bay, into a state of the art beach park and public space for Jamaicans and visitors, alike.
He said this project will be pursued as a public private partnership venture.