JIS News

The National Water Commission (NWC) is to construct and replace four kilometres of pipeline from the Harbour View Roundabout to the Airport roundabout at a cost of US$2.33 million.

This was disclosed by Minister of Transport, Works and Housing, Dr. the Hon. Omar Davies, during Tuesday’s, February 19, sitting of the House of Representatives.

He noted that the works are being undertaken through a variation in the original US$65.4 million contract, which was approved for the Palisadoes Shoreline Protection and Rehabilitation Project, resulting in a final sum of US$67.7 million.

The pipeline project is expected to commence in March 2013 and last for four months. The scope of project include: installation of 400-millimetre diameter potable water transmission main; testing of the newly laid pipe; and the sterilisation and commissioning of the pipeline into service.

The Works Minister informed that the potable water main is in a state of disrepair as it was installed over 40 years ago.

“The existing waterline is several metres below the new road elevation and the NWC will have difficulty when repairs and maintenance are needed. The NWC wishes to have the pipeline relocated to approximately one metre below the new road elevation in order to alleviate this problem,” he explained.

Dr. Davies said the National Works Agency (NWA) had made provision for the replacement of two kilometres of the affected pipeline in the existing Palisadoes contract, but funding was required for the remaining four kilometres, which needed to be replaced, due to its poor condition and attendant high water loss.

He added that several meetings were held between representatives from the NWA and the NWC with respect to the financing and replacement of the remaining four kilometres of pipeline works, which led to the signing of a Memorandum of Agreement between the agencies on September 11, 2012.

The Palisadoes Shoreline Protection and Rehabilitation Project was recently completed within budget, consistent with the original scope and plans. The project, approved by Cabinet in August, 2009, involved partnership between the Governments of Jamaica and China, to repair and secure the extensively degraded shoreline of the Palisadoes Peninsula in Kingston.

The project, undertaken over a 24-month period, involved lifting of the roadway, core filling, utility relocation, construction of a boardwalk, as well as major revetment works.

Dr. Davies told the House that the pipeline replacement project is outside of the original contract and will not impact the work that has already been completed.

He noted, however, that situations such as these, “which necessitated this variation to the originally contracted scope of a project, at the end of a project, points to a systematic weakness in our planning and implementation system, which has remained uncorrected for too long.”