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A major road patching programme, geared at community roads long in need of repairs, is being rolled out by the National Works Agency (NWA) at the direction of Transport and Works Minister, Hon. Mike Henry.
The programme, which involves initial expenditure of $60 million, is to be intensified with funding anticipated from the dedicated cess from fuel sales to the Road Maintenance Fund (RMF). Once funding from the cess begins to flow, the scope of works will be broadened significantly, from just patching.
Wide areas of the Corporate Area, and sections of rural parishes, are included in the initial phase, which got under way in Havendale, St. Andrew earlier this week.
Minister Henry said that, despite delays in accessing funding from the fuel cess due to a technical glitch which is being worked on, he was determined to get road repairs going in a very meaningful way. He said the funding for the initial phase of the programme was channelled from other sources, in anticipation of the funding from the cess being available within a short time.
“We promised road repairs from the cess and, although it is still not available to us, I felt obliged to re-channel some resources to begin a programme of, at least, wide-scale patching,” he outlined.
“We are starting at that level with mostly the community and Parish Council roads, including housing scheme roads which have long been in need of repairs, but were caught up in the competing claims of where responsibility for the repairs lie,” he said.
He added that with the Government now clearly on a path to formally establishing a single road authority, nationally, this focus on community roads was “very timely and definitely a signal of where we are going in terms of the responsibility factor.”

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