Minister of Transport and Works, Hon. Mike Henry, officially opened the $2.2 billion Segment 1A of the Northern Coastal Highway Improvement Project in Bogue, St. James on Wednesday (January 19).
Improvements to the corridor, which is considered a major entrance and exit point for Montego Bay, was undertaken by Surrey Paving and Aggregates Limited over a 26-month period.
Speaking at the official opening, Mr. Henry pointed out that the new roadway would radically improve traffic flow, travel time, reduce operating costs and improve the comfort of movement for all users of the highway.
“This roadway will help to drive the economic development of not just Montego Bay and Western Jamaica, but of the entire island,” Mr. Henry said.
He added that the official opening of the new section of the highway, demonstrated that the Government is delivering transportation improvements, as well as safer and better roads.
He noted that the original section of the roadway had been a source of traffic delays, during the morning and afternoon peak hours, for many years. It was also the ire of many motorists, as well as tourism and other interests in and around Montego Bay.
“So, in response to this situation, the Government decided to embark on this project, to widen the existing two-lane corridor to accommodate four lanes of traffic,” Mr. Henry said.
He noted that the design of the intersections and the drainage were also improved significantly, in addition to the rehabilitation of some six bridges constructed under Segment 1 of the highway
“New street lights (Light-emitting diodes – LED), which use about 40 per cent of the power used by other bulbs, were installed along the highway, meaning lower electricity cost for the people of Jamaica,” Mr. Henry pointed out.
He said that the Government hoped that the newly-rehabilitated corridor will meet the city’s expectations, in significantly relieving the inconveniences experienced over the past 26 months. He added that he was honoured to officially open the new highway, and also congratulated the contractors, Surrey Paving and Aggregates Limited, – despite the delays, for the impressive project.
“I believe that this new roadway is a great credit to us all, and I wish to congratulate everyone for helping to make it possible,” Mr. Henry said.
Mayor of Montego Bay, Councillor Charles Sinclair, commended Mr. Henry, under whose watch the job was completed.
“The expansion of this leg of the Northern Coastal Highway has been long advocated and I must express on behalf of the City, our appreciation to the Minister for his determination in ensuring that the dualization is completed and done in magnificent style,” he said.
CONTACT: GLENIS ROSE,
JIS REGIONAL OFFICE, Montego Bay.