JIS News

Minister of Transport and Works, Michael Henry, has said that major road repairs are to begin shortly. “We have given out 25 contracts at a total value of about $1.5 billion, so work should have started. What has held it up is the procurement period,” he told JIS News, while on a tour of damaged roadways and farm roads in South West St. Elizabeth, on November 14.
The Minister pointed out that on November 13, he signed a contract, valued at $1.5 billion, for the Bogue roadway in Montego Bay, St. James, and that repair to other roads would begin in December.
Mr. Henry said the repairs would be linked to the testing of the Pave-Zyme, a soil stabilisation compound, which is an enzyme based product, that the Ministry of Transport and Works would be using to repair roads.
He explained that a new approach is also being taken to effect repairs to gullies and drains. “We are moving away from solid rubble stone walls, to poured walls and to restore the inverts, so that what we do, will be lasting,” the Minister said.
Meanwhile, the Minister stressed that there would be a change in the manner in which road repairs are to be carried out. “The days when you don’t work night and day are gone, so the contractors are told by me, they have to work outside the peak hours into the nights, because we are charged interest on the loans when we are sleeping, and therefore, we have to agree to six months or 12 months of work,” he said.
“I have told every contractor, please equip yourselves with lights, because any contractor I see that stops working at five o’clock in the evening, is going to have a problem passing my desk to get any more contracts,” he said.
The Minister also examined two farm roads that have been repaired, using the Pave-Zyme compound.