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OCHO RIOS — Residents of Thicketts in St. Ann are expressing gratitude for the work done under the Jamaica Development Infrastructure Programme (JDIP) to rehabilitate the main roadway leading into the community.

Some $20 million was spent under the programme to repair the two-kilometre stretch, which was officially opened on Friday (July 29) by Minister of State for Transport and Works, Hon. Othneil Lawrence. The scope of work included asphalting, and the construction of drains, curb and channels.

"We are really happy and I know that I can speak on behalf of all those who own vehicles in this area, that we are pleased with the quality road that we are seeing here," said resident Faith Hunt.

"I trust and pray that we will use it safely and we will just go about our business giving thanks to whoever is responsible for this and praying God's blessing on them and hope that we can continue to work together for a better community and a better Jamaica," she added.

Another resident, Everald Gibson, said that he too was happy for the work done, noting that the project was long overdue.

"For what has taken place in the community, I want to commend and thank all those who have made it possible. We are just grateful and happy that our road has been fixed and we are benefiting as a community and as Jamaicans," Mr. Gibson said.

Mr. Lawrence, who is Member of Parliament for the North West St. Ann constituency in which Thicketts is located, appealed to motorists to drive with care on the roadway while lauding the contractors on the quality of work done.

He said that Government is on a mission to improve the road infrastructure across the island, which JDIP being a major part of that effort.

"We just want to let the people understand that without this programme we would not have had the funds to give them the quality roads they now have," he pointed out.

Turning to the proposal to establish a single road authority, Mr. Lawrence explained that the aim is to construct and rehabilitate roads then hand them over to the parish councils for maintenance.

"When a road needs to be rehabilitated, persons are not concerned about whether or not the road is one that is being maintained by the parish council or the National Works Agency (NWA). Their concern is that they need the road and so the road must be fixed," he noted.

Thicketts is the second JDIP project to be opened this week, the other being the Marley road in St. Mary.

A total of 10 roads in St. Ann are being rehabilitated under JDIP, while another 11 are slated for improvement.

By Aldeen Campbell

JIS REGIONAL OFFICE
MONTEGO BAY