JIS News

Story Highlights

  • Wheelchair users and pedestrians will soon find it safer and easier to traverse the Golding Avenue roadway in Papine.
  • Repairs are underway on the 700 metre-long stretch under the Government’s $10.4 million sidewalk rehabilitation project.
  • The work, which falls under the Jamaica Emergency Employment Programme (JEEP), is expected to be completed by next week.

Wheelchair users and pedestrians will soon find it safer and easier to traverse the Golding Avenue roadway in Papine.

Repairs are underway on the 700 metre-long stretch under the Government’s $10.4 million sidewalk rehabilitation project.

The work, which falls under the Jamaica Emergency Employment Programme (JEEP), is expected to be completed by next week.

State Minister for Transport, Works and Housing, Hon. Richard Azan, and officers of the National Works Agency (NWA), toured the area yesterday (March 30), to get a first hand view of the project’s progress.

Speaking to journalists following the tour, Mr. Azan said the Government is especially mindful of the difficulties of the disabled community in manoeuvring the sidewalk, which was previously in a deplorable state.

“The entire stretch here, the disabled community has to use it and I think that we have to do what we are supposed to do to help,” he said.

He informed that following talks with technical officers of the NWA, the Ministry is sourcing funds to undertake additional work to make the road even safer for these users, by widening sections of the sidewalk, and installing rails.

The State Minister also made an appeal for operators of stalls along the stretch to “pull in the windows and doors of their shops” so as not to impede users of the sidewalk.

Member of Parliament for Eastern St. Andrew, Andre Hylton, who was also on the tour, welcomed the intervention.

He noted that proper sidewalks are essential, especially in an area largely populated by wheelchair users, who attend institutions such as the Frank Lopez High School, Sir John Golding Rehabilitation Centre, and the Hope Valley Experimental School in the community.

“I am very happy that NWA has responded, and the Kingston and St. Andrew Corporation (KSAC) through the local Government has also responded to ensure that (the roadway) from Cheshire Village into Papine has properly constructed sidewalks where persons with wheelchairs can traverse safely; because we owe it to them,” he said.

Councillor for the Papine Division, Venesha Phillips, said she is heartened and pleased that the Government moved to make the area more user-friendly especially for physically challenged individuals.

“When we started to highlight the plight of the disabled, we got full support from all the agencies concerned,” she said.

JEEP is one of the Government’s strategies to address unemployment, particularly among Jamaicans in the lower socio-economic groups, as well as persons with special needs, low skill levels, and those from under-served communities.