Work to rehabilitate the Friday roadway in the Rio Grande Valley area of Portland is in its final stages and the thoroughfare is scheduled to be reopened shortly.
The roadway, which provides access to a number of other communities including Ginger House, Comfort Castle, and Mill Bank, became impassable in February 2009, after numerous land slippages resulted in its complete erosion.
The restoration work, which began in July 2009, is being completed under the Jamaica Development Infrastructure Programme (JDIP). It includes the construction of a gabion wall, a rubble retaining wall, and the laying of culverts and pipe drainage.
Minister with responsibility for Information, Telecommunications and Special Projects in the Office of the Prime Minister, Hon. Daryl Vaz, who observed the progress of work on Tuesday (April 12), said that cars are now able to access Friday and the communities beyond.
“This is a major achievement for Portland, as for the last two years, vehicular traffic was not able to access that area, which had been cut off from a number of communities in the Rio Grande Valley,” he noted.
“It is a bright day for the people of Portland in terms of their getting well-needed infrastructure,” added the Minister, who is also Member of Parliament for Western Portland.
Minister Vaz, who was accompanied by National Works Agency (NWA) officials, visited other communities in the parish, where roads are being rehabilitated under JDIP and other programmes. The communities are Cascade, Bangor Ridge, Mahoe, Tranquility, Spring Hill, Chepstowe, Rock Hall, and Peters Hill, where road patching and resurfacing are being undertaken, in addition to the construction of retaining walls, gabion baskets, culverts and drains.
The Minister said he is especially pleased with the complete rehabilitation of the farm road between the communities of Mahoe and Bangor Ridge, being carried out through the Rural Agricultural Development Authority (RADA), and United States Agency for International Development (USAID), at a cost of $19 million.
The work, he said, will improve access for the many banana, coffee and cash crop farmers in the communities.
Minister Vaz expressed pleasure with the infrastructural improvements in West Portland, noting that the works will “open up many communities and districts, which were previously impassable by regular vehicular traffic.”
CONTACT: LORNA WILLIAMS
JIS REGIONAL OFFICE