KINGSTON — Motorists using the Scotts Cove to Belmont main road in Westmoreland will soon benefit from improved road conditions.
A $279 million contract for the rehabilitation of the 13.7-kilometre roadway was signed today (October 4) by the Minister of Transport and Works, Hon. Michael Henry, at the Ministry, in Kingston.
Speaking at the signing, Mr. Henry said the project is expected to open up trade related corridors, which will contribute to the economic growth in the area.
“This will also be beneficial to farmers in giving greater access to them in the transportation of their produce to market. It will also facilitate significant development in housing and other commercial activities,” he added.
The Minister informed that communities, such as Whitehouse, Bluefields, Belmont and Ferris Cross, and schools, including Belmont Academy, Mernsville Junior High and New Hope Junior High will also benefit from the road improvement.
“The project will also impact savings and revenues to stakeholders, as it is anticipated that approximately 150 persons will benefit from direct employment from the project, as well as another 50 vendors indirectly,” he added.
In addition, Mr. Henry said the development will be of significant advantage to the Sandals Whitehouse Hotel, as there will be a reduction in travel time for tourists from the Sangster International Airport in Montego Bay to the Westmoreland-based hotel.
In his remarks, Chief Executive Officer, National Works Agency (NWA), Patrick Wong, said the project will incorporate the installation of a new water main along the corridor by the National Water Commission (NWC), and that this work will precede the road improvement. He noted that the overall project is expected to last for one year.
The scope of work involves reconstruction of 4.1 kilometres of the roadway; rehabilitation of 2.6 kilometres, which will be patched, milled and regulated with asphaltic concrete.
The project is to be executed under the Transportation Infrastructure Rehabilitation Programme and is being funded by the Government of Jamaica through a loan from the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB).
The road works will be undertaken by Asphaltic Concrete Enterprise Limited.
By Chris Patterson, JIS Reporter