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French firm, Bouygues, is to begin corrective work on a section of the Portmore leg of Highway 2000, near the Port of Kingston, on Monday, May 17.

"Works are to be conducted on some areas of the pavement which have settled and where cracks have also occurred," Minister of Transport and Works, Hon. Mike Henry, told a press conference at his Ministry, Kingston, on Friday (May 7).

Mr. Henry also revealed that to compensate motorists for the inconvenience, the road operators, Trans Jamaica Highway, has agreed on a user discount scheme, which takes effect on May 10. The scheme provides a 25 per cent discount to users who travel from 5:00 a.m. to 7:00 a.m. and 8:30 a.m. to 9:30 a.m.

Twenty-five per cent discount means class one will move from $120 to $90, class two will move from $170 to $130 and class three from $340 to $280.

Minister of Transport and Works, Hon Mike Henry (right), emphasising a point during a press conference at his Ministry, Friday (May 7), at which he informed the country about corrective works to be carried out on the Portmore leg of Highway 2000. Looking on is Mayor of Portmore, Keith Hinds.

The repairs are estimated to cost US$8 million, but are being undertaken by Bouygues at no cost to the Government, based on the terms of an agreement signed by the stakeholders.

The work is to be carried out in two stages, with the first stage slated to last for three months, and the final stage ending in December.

The repairs will be carried out during the daytime although, Mr Henry said, the contractors have agreed to work at night once adequate security measures are put in place by the Ministry of National Security. He said that this would help to reduce the estimated duration of the project.

Mr. Henry outlined that two kilometres of roadway will be closed on one side of the carriageway during each stage of the works, and traffic from the closed carriageway will be diverted to the other side. This will result in the reduction in the number of lanes from three to two, in both directions, causing some delays for motorists.

Mr. Henry said that a public relations campaign is to begin on May 8, to inform motorists of the changes, as well as to appeal to them for increased caution when using the roadway during the period.

Mayor of Portmore, Keith Hinds, who was also at the press conference, said he was happy that TransJamaica Highway and Bouygues have taken the time to ensure that the road meets specifications.

"I am also appreciative of the fact that, in consultation with these partners, they have decided to give a reduction in the toll fees in the mornings within specific times," he stated.

Meanwhile, Chief Executive Officer of the Toll Authority, Joan Fletcher, said the Authority had been concerned about the faults on the road and would be making its own assessments, as the corrective works proceed.