- The Prime Minister noted that there will be a one-month free passage for motorists from August 5 to September 5, after which they will have to pay toll charges.
- There will be a 40 per cent reduction of travel time with the opening of the highway, and when the entire highway is operating from Caymanas in St. Catherine, to Ocho Rios, in St. Ann, the current hour and a half travel time will be cut to about 45 minutes.
The Full Story
Persons who traverse the North Coast areas, now have ease in travelling, after Prime Minister, the Most Hon. Portia Simpson Miller, opened the Linstead to Moneague segment of the North/South Highway, on Tuesday, August 5.
In her address, the Prime Minister noted that she kept close to the construction of the project, as the ease of travel is vital to business transactions, and productivity.
Recalling that the idea of such a road first surfaced over 40 years ago, she said after four major feasibility studies, “the work is underway, and we open what will become the second leg of the North South Highway.”
The Prime Minister noted that there will be a one-month free passage for motorists from August 5 to September 5, after which they will have to pay toll charges.
There will be a 40 per cent reduction of travel time with the opening of the highway, and when the entire highway is operating from Caymanas in St. Catherine, to Ocho Rios, in St. Ann, the current hour and a half travel time will be cut to about 45 minutes.
The highway is being developed by China Engineering Company (CHEC), and is a project linking Caymanas, in St. Catherine to Mammee Bay, in St. Ann, crossing the Rio Cobre, and bypassing Mount Rosser and Flat Bridge. The highway will travel through the communities of Waterloo, Content, Giblatore and Wakefield in St. Catherine, and nearby communities in St. Ann, including Phoenix Park, Golden Grove, Steerfield and Davis.
Calling on local investors to take advantage of the business possibilities that are now available, the Prime Minister emphasized that investment prospects from the project are “exciting” and when “completed, the highway will open up new areas for the development of housing, commercial and resort facilities, similar to what happened with the creation of the North Coast Highway.”
“This will reduce the rural to urban migration by encouraging persons to stay in their communities, and work elsewhere. We are anticipating new opportunities for tourism development, and I urge our Jamaican entrepreneurs, small, medium and large, to position themselves for the new economic possibilities that will arise from the new highway,” Mrs. Simpson Miller told the audience.
The 66-kilometre Jamaica North South Highway is the largest infrastructure development project on the island, with an investment of US$730 million in loans from the China Development Bank, and with equity from CHEC Americas. None of the loans to build the roadway is guaranteed or secured by the Government of Jamaica.
Also at the opening were Minister of Transport, Works and Housing, Dr. the Hon. Omar Davies; former Prime Ministers, the Most Hon. P.J. Patterson, and the Hon. Bruce Golding; officials from China, and CHEC, Cabinet members; Dr. Horace Chang, Opposition Spokesperson on Infrastructure Development; Opposition Spokesman on Finance, Mr. Audley Shaw, and other political representatives, as well as persons from the business community