JIS News

Chief Executive Officer of the National Works Agency (NWA), Patrick Wong, has assured that appropriate measures will be taken to prevent any possible environmental fallout from the multi-million dollar Palisadoes Protective and Rehabilitative Works Project, to be executed along the Palisadoes peninsula in Kingston.
“We have gone through great length to ensure that.we do not have an environmental disaster,” he told journalists yesterday (May 11) at a press briefing held at the Ministry of Transport and Works’ Maxfield Avenue offices.
He informed that an Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) was undertaken in 2007 and approved by the National Environment and Planning Agency (NEPA) in 2008, adding that the document is available online and in the NWA’s library.
“We have a permit from NEPA to undertake this programme and.will execute the project on the approvals granted by NEPA in two beach licenses,” Mr. Wong said.
He informed that the licenses were gained after approximately 11 project steering meetings between 2006 and 2007 involving NEPA, Jamaica Defence Force Coast Guard, National Land Agency (NLA), and University of the West Indies (UWI), National Meteorological Service, Airports Authority of Jamaica and NWA.
In the meantime, he indicated that the NWA will be “relocating sensitive species” within the vicinity of the project area “as identified.”
In addition, there will be water quality monitoring; turbidity barriers; site and quarrying compliance; and a traffic control and management plan, details of which are to be finalised and submitted to the contractor and subsequently made public.
Further, Mr. Wong informed, a “routine” public awareness campaign is to be developed “to keep the public up-to-date on the project’s progress and potential delays to motorists.”
“The contractor is contractually bound to the terms and conditions of the NEPA beach license and is aware of the implications. At the end of all of these measures, there will be monthly reporting of the results to NEPA. We are ensuring that our environment is not damaged, but is enhanced by the project,” Mr. Wong stressed.
The two year US$65 million project, which is scheduled to get underway in July, entails various construction and rehabilitation works along a 5.5 kilometre segment of the Palisadoes peninsula, which has been undermined by flooding and hurricanes.
Chinese firm – China Harbour Engineering Company Limited is undertaking the works through 85 per cent financing from the Chinese Ex-Im Bank, while the Government of Jamaica will provide the remaining 15 per cent.
The work will entail, among other things, the widening of the roadway by an additional two lanes with two soft shoulders; raising the road to between 2.4 and 3.2 metres above sea level; establishment of rock revetments along the Caribbean Sea and harbour shorelines; and construction of a three-metre boardwalk along the harbour side of the peninsula, where some 18 lamps will also be installed.

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