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The National Works Agency (NWA) will be spending some $250 million over the next few weeks to clear approximately 400 drains, gullies and waterways in preparation for the 2009 Atlantic Hurricane Season.
Minister of Transport and Works, Hon. Mike Henry, making the announcement at a contract signing ceremony held at his Maxfield Avenue office today (May 13), said that the project was part of the NWA’s disaster mitigation programme.
“The mitigation programme, which the National Works Agency has been carrying out for a number of years now, has certainly shown that it assists in protecting the road,” he stated.
“However, the dumping in the gullies still continues and therefore, if we don’t clear it near enough, then by the time you turn around, the debris is back up and flooding occurs,” he pointed out.
In the meantime, four contracts valued at more than $270 million were awarded for road and gully improvement projects in three parishes.
The projects are: rehabilitation of the roadway from Woodford to Maryland Square in St. Andrew for which $79.4 million was allocated; Norbrook to Woodford Square in St. Andrew in the amount of $74.3 million; and Hazard Drive in Clarendon in the sum of $24 million, in addition to the construction of random rubble wall and border at Cuffy Gully in St. Mary in the amount of $92.4 million.
Contractors are Asphalt Concrete Enterprise Limited; Jatlin Construction and Associates Limited; SM and Associates Limited; and YP Seaton and Associates Limited.
Minister Henry stated that the projects were in keeping with the Government’s thrust to improve the country’s road network.
“Of course, they come in time too, with the Special Consumption Tax on gasoline of which some concerns were expressed, but which we knew had to be done, because of the importance of rehabilitating the roads,” Mr. Henry said.
“Now, with the dedicated funding to come, we are busy mapping out a five-year repair and rehabilitation programme to bring back much of our roadways, drains and gullies,” he informed.
The Government recently announced a Special Consumption Tax on gasoline of $8.75 per litre, with the proceeds to go to the Road Maintenance Fund.