Priority Areas to Receive Urgent Attention
PORT ANTONIO – Infrastructural damage in Western Portland resulting from the passage of Tropical Storm Nicole, were examined by Minister with responsibility for Information, Telecommunications, and Special Projects, Hon. Daryl Vaz and officers of the National Works Agency, during a tour of that constituency on Wednesday, March 23.
Among the areas toured, were Hollywell, Charlton, Spring Hill, Swift River, Balcarres, Tranquility, and Silver Hill. Significant damage was done to roadways and other infrastructure in a number of these communities including breakaways, damaged road surfaces, and inundation resulting in completely or partially blocked roads.
The tour enabled Mr. Vaz, who is Member of Parliament for the area, and the members of the touring party to have a first hand look at the damage, and to make a proper assessment in respect of the necessary measures to be taken to address it.
Speaking at the end of the tour, Mr. Vaz said he and the team were happy for the opportunity to examine the infrastructural dislocations in the communities, adding that the occasion also provided the opportunity for them to be familiarised with the work being done under the Jamaica Development Infrastructure Programme (JDIP).
Noting that every effort will be made to address the areas designed as priority concerns as early as possible, Mr. Vaz said the necessary rehabilitation work will also be done in other affected areas in order to restore normality as soon as possible.
Stating that the infrastructural development agenda will be getting major assistance from the JDIP, Mr. Vaz said among the major projects to be carried out in the constituency during the next financial year, will be the rehabilitation of the Hope Bay to Coopers Hill roadway, and the restoration of the damaged section of the main road in the Buff Bay Valley, to make that corridor fully accessible.
Noting that a bailey bridge will be erected at the break-away section of the Silver Hill main road in that area, he said the architectural drawings and designs for the implementation have already been completed, and that an urgent effort was also being made to address the break-away, which has occurred on the main road in the community of Friday in the Rio Grande Valley area of Portland.
Meanwhile, Chief Executive Officer of the National Works Agency, Patrick Wong said the agency had a full appreciation of the extent of infrastructural damage in the parish, and the necessary measures needed to be taken to properly address them.
Mr. Wong said the NWA would be working assiduously to deal with those issues during the next financial year, adding that that effort will be greatly assisted by the programme of activities under the JDIP. The NWA is responsible for implementing the JDIP.
By ASTON G. BAILEY