JIS News

During the current financial year, the Road Maintenance Fund approved contracts for the repair of about 200,000 square metres of roads, which were patched at a cost of $200 million.
This disclosure was made by Minister of Transport and Works, Robert Pickersgill, while updating journalists on projects and other developments within his ministry, at the Jamaica Pegasus Hotel today (February 1).
Mr. Pickersgill noted that the Fund, which was established two and a half years ago, has received to date, approximately $420 million per year. On the other hand, the last two hurricane seasons (2004 and 2005) have wrought significant damage to the road network, in excess of the available funds.
“The damage to the island’s roads was catastrophic. Engineers’ reports indicate that over $4 billion in damage was sustained,” he pointed out.
Continuing, the Minister noted that despite the financial constraints, the National Works Agency (NWA) carried out the repairs with great efficiency.Outlining some of the projects completed during the 2005/06 financial year, Minister Pickersgill revealed that, “thirty-four contract packages for maintenance work were approved at a cost of $117 million, and 400,000 litres of emulsion were imported, capable of repairing an additional 144,000 square metres of roadway, at a cost of some $64 million”.
Other road maintenance activities were approved during the financial year at a cost of $183.3 million.
The Minister also reported on the ministry’s Urban Traffic Management Project.
“The Dunrobin Avenue and Constant Spring Road junction improvement work has been completed at a cost of $24 million. The Constant Spring/Shortwood Road junction improvement has been completed at some $8 million. The Barbican Road/Russell Heights Road junction, phase one, has also been completed and we will be embarking on phase two, which will begin on Monday (February 6),” Minister Pickersgill told journalists.
In addition, phase one of the East Kings House Road bridge expansion project was completed at a cost of $6 million and work on the second phase will also begin next week.
Meanwhile, the Ministry is in the process of securing funds to support three-year maintenance contracts for pilot projects in St. Catherine, St. Thomas, Westmoreland, Manchester and Portland, Minister Pickersgill pointed out. These pilot projects will be implemented under the National Road Services Improvement Project (NARSIP), which will be jointly funded by the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) and Road Maintenance Fund.
The NARSIP, which gives priority to the routine maintenance of the road network to prevent deterioration, will strengthen the NWA’s capacity to implement and manage a nationwide maintenance programme in the short-term and to conduct major construction and rehabilitation activities in the medium-term.