There should be some easing of traffic congestion in the town of Old Harbour, St. Catherine, with the commissioning into service of new traffic signals in the town square today (Jan. 7).
Minister of Transport and Works, Hon. Mike Henry, in his remarks at the function, which also included the official opening of the Gutters to Free Town main road, said that the signals would “facilitate the freer movement of traffic. It is supposed to be a timed signal that relates to where the traffic moves, in order that you are not held up at the other side.”
Special Sergeant Peter Murphy, who spoke to JIS News, said that the traffic lights would help to make the job of the police easier, as personnel would not be required to direct traffic as much. He said pedestrians, especially, were having a hard time crossing the roads or were doing so improperly and the lights would help to alleviate that problem.
Minister of Transport and Works, Honourable Michael Henry (right), speaks at a ceremony, held in Old Harbour St. Catherine, today (January 7), to officially open the Gutters to Free Town main road and to commission into service traffic signals in Old Harbour square.
Innswood High School student, Janice Farmer, expressed pleasure that the traffic lights have been erected. “Children will know what to do. When you are walking you will see the red hand (which) stands for stop and you have to wait until you see the walk for you to walk. So this is best for us,” she said.
In the meantime, Minister Henry stated that the 10-kilometre roadway, which was rehabilitated at a cost of $141 million, was evidence of Jamaicans’ “cess money at work”.
He noted that the resurfaced road would provide a viable alternative to motorists, who do not wish to use Highway 2000, which attracts a toll.
Minister of Transport and Works, Honourable Michael Henry (fourth right), cuts the ribbon to officially open the Gutters to Free Town main road, during a ceremony in Old Harbour square, in St. Catherine, today (January 7). Assisting the Minister (from third left) are: His Worship the Mayor of Spanish Town, Dr. Andrew Wheatley; Executive Director of the National Road Maintenance Fund, Clement Watson; and Member of Parliament for St. Catherine South Western, Honourable Everald Warmington.
However, he cautioned drivers to be careful on the rehabilitated surface. “Let me equally say that as I repair roads, as I resurface them, let me ask the drivers to recognise that it is not meant for speeding; respect the pedestrian, respect the school children,” he urged.
The road works is just the first phase of a comprehensive road rehabilitation project being undertaken in the area. The National Works Agency (NWA) announced that the project is to be continued from Old Harbour to Sandy Bay in Clarendon with funding from the Inter-American Development Bank.
“It’s a process of resealing, putting in the proper drainage and, as we go through the townships, putting in the necessary sidewalks so that the pedestrians, who are also users of the roadway, have somewhere to walk and not have to walk in the road itself,” said Chief Executive Officer of the NWA, Patrick Wong.