Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the National Works Agency (NWA), Mr. Patrick Wong, has dismissed claims that the US$65 million Palisadoes Protective and Rehabilitative Works project, to be executed along the Palisadoes Peninsula, is solely a road improvement undertaking.
Alluding to recently published media articles on the matter, which he described as “misleading”, Mr. Wong said that the project is about protecting the Kingston shoreline.
“It’s about preventing any major national disaster from occurring,” he told a media briefing at the Ministry of Transport and Works, Kingston, on Tuesday (May 11).
Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the National Works Agency (NWA), Patrick Wong, speaking at a media briefing at the Ministry of Transport and Works, Maxfield Avenue, Kingston, on Tuesday (May 11), where he addressed matters pertaining to the multi-million dollar Palisadoes Protective and Rehabilitative Works project, to be executed along the Palisades Peninsula in Kingston.
The two-year project, being implemented by the NWA and scheduled to commence in July, involves various construction and rehabilitation works to be executed along a 5.5 kilometre segment of the Palisadoes peninsula, by the Chinese firm – China Harbour Engineering Company Limited. Funding is being provided through a loan from the China Exim Bank.
Emphasizing the project’s importance, Mr. Wong pointed out that successive hurricanes, and severe systems impacting the island over the past six years, have caused significant damage to the peninsula.
He recalled that there was a major breach on the peninsula, and the Caribbean Sea and water from Kingston Harbour were at the “doorstep” of the road itself. He said that the road is too low, as it is almost at the same elevation, in certain locations, as the harbour and the sea.
“So we stand the risk of a (another) major breach in the peninsula if we do nothing about it,” the CEO warned.
Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the National Works Agency (NWA), Patrick Wong (right), fielding questions from journalists at a media briefing at the Ministry of Transport and Works, Maxfield Avenue, Kingston, on Tuesday (May 11), where he addressed matters pertaining to the multi-million dollar Palisadoes Protective and Rehabilitative Works project. Also pictured are: Managing Director of project consultants, Civil Environmental and Coastal Engineers and Planners (CEAC), Christopher Burgess (left); and the NWA’s Director for Regional Implementation and Special Projects, George Knight.
Mr. Wong also pointed out that the Palisadoes Peninsula serves as a breakwater, blocking swells from the Caribbean Sea and preventing waves from entering Kingston Harbour in full force.
He said that hurricanes, most often, approach the south east corridor and the peninsula protects the Kingston shoreline, including areas like Portmore, Newport East, Newport West, downtown Kingston, Manley Meadows and Rae Town.
“That’s the main purpose of the Palisadoes peninsula,” Mr. Wong said.
He also noted that over 3,000 Jamaicans live and work in the corridor, and to do nothing would invite a major environmental disaster at the shore line.
Mr. Wong also recalled that damage which occurred along the shoreline, parallel to Port Royal Street, downtown Kingston, between Rae Town and the Bank of Jamaica (BoJ), were caused by the swells of the harbour.
“It’s about the protective works that are required to protect the Kingston shoreline, the investments that governments have made over the years and to protect people’s residences from storm surges,” Mr. Wong underscored.
The work in the project area will entail, among other features, 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.