JIS News

The National Works Agency (NWA) had been authorized to lead in the clearance and repair of all roads whether they were main roads or those under the control of local government bodies.
Prime Minister P. J. Patterson, who made the announcement at the post Cabinet press briefing at Jamaica House on Monday (Sept.13), said that the decision had become necessary as a result of the damage to roadways due to Hurricane Ivan. The NWA has been authorized to negotiate contracts for emergency work with approved contractors and for rehabilitation projects already underway, the NWA can add variations of anywhere between $4 million and $15 million provided that the contractors’ workload is not severely affected.
Mr. Patterson noted that contracts above $15 million would have to be tendered and then awarded under an abbreviated competitive tender process. The process, he advised, would be re-examined at the next Cabinet meeting.
The Prime Minister noted that the magnitude of the contracts might necessitate increasing the amounts to allow greater flexibility in light of the urgency in having the work undertaken in the various areas.
With respect to road clearance, the Prime Minister said that 101 out of 252 major roads, which were blocked, had been cleared with priority given to the main corridors. Sixty-four of some 72 arterial roads have also been cleared.
He said further, that with the best efforts of the relief teams, some communities still remained inaccessible because of landslides and blockages, which have occurred. The Prime Minister assured that all was being done to clear blocked areas to alleviate any suffering.
He pointed out that the funds that were made available from the fiscal budget over the period would be critical in facilitating the relief effort and the recovery process because “we want to make sure that we recover as quickly as we can.”

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