JIS News

Prime Minister, the Hon. Bruce Golding, launched the St. Elizabeth leg of the Government’s massive Jamaica Development Infrastructure Programme (JDIP), estimated to cost some $36 billion, at the Lewisville High School, in St. Elizabeth on Tuesday (August 31).
The full programme includes significant upgrading and repairs to roads and bridges across the island over the next five years. The St. Elizabeth leg will be done over six months at a cost of US$60 Million.
Speaking at the launch, the Prime Minister noted that in negotiating for the funding for the wider national programme, he ensured that it would not be limited to highways and main roads, since the majority of Jamaicans live in subdivisions that surround towns.
“And in the wider scheme of planning, you can’t leave them out,” the Prime Minister warned.
Mr. Golding added that the road programme, an innovative partnership between the Government of Jamaica and China, was the largest road project to be undertaken in Jamaica. It will cost some $36 billion, but without the kind of stipulations that come with other road funds where the lending agency wants to determine usage of the roads before committing funds.
He emphasized that many times the reasons why the roads are not used by large volumes of vehicles, had to do with the long neglect. He said that the Government was persistent in ensuring that a large portion of roads receive urgent attention, this time.
“So long as the road serves people to go from one point to the other that is in our scheme of things. We could not eliminate any road because you don’t have a hundred vehicles that travel there,” he stated.
The JDIP is a partnership between the Government of Jamaica and the Government of the People’s Republic of China, through the Export Import (EXIM) Bank of China. Funding has been augmented by the Road Maintenance Fund (RMF), which is financed by the Fuel Cess. The total road repair fund is approximately US$400 million.
The major roads in St. Elizabeth that are to receive immediate attention are the Mocho to Springfield main road; Punches to Font Hill; Newell to Bethany; Crane Road to Parottee; and among others, the Carish Brook to Dry Harbour road.

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