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The Bath Spring Road in Shrewsbury, Portland, which was recently rehabilitated at a cost of more than $7.4 million, was officially opened at a function held in the community on Monday (July 26).
The project, funded jointly by the European Union (EU) and the Portland Parish Council under the Rural Economic and Social Infrastructure Support Project (RESISP), entailed the rehabilitation of 650 metres of roadway, improvement to the drainage system, re-construction of the sub-base, construction of a retaining wall and spillways, and widening of the roadway.
Approximately 1,300 residents of Shrewsbury and adjoining communities will benefit from the upgraded roadway, which will enable easier access to their communities and a more efficient and reliable transportation system.
Addressing the function, Minister of State with responsibility for Local Government, Hon. Robert Montague, lauded the EU and the Portland Parish Council for partnering to make the project a reality.
He called on the residents to partner with the Parish Council in maintaining the road and the other facilities in their communities. “We want you to lift up the community as a model community, to show others what we can achieve when people come together and work together,” he said.
Minister with responsibility for Information, Telecommunications and Special Projects, Hon. Daryl Vaz, who is also Member of Parliament for Western Portland, said he was pleased with the role that the EU has been playing in rural development.
He said he was happy that the farmers and taxi operators would now have easier access to their communities. “I know this road, I have walked this road, and I knew it was a major issue for the residents. Now I hear that the taxis are going all the way to the top,” he said.
He informed that the roadway from Hope Bay to Coopers Hill and from Rock Hall to Chatsworth would be rehabilitated under the Chinese Road Programme, which will begin in August.
Head of Rural Development for the EU Delegation in Jamaica, Federico Berna, informed that his organisation has earmarked approximately $700 million for economic diversification and rural development activities in areas affected by the downturn of the banana industry.
He said that 35,000 persons have benefitted from initiatives so far and “we think these figures are very promising.”
RESISP is being undertaken through a grant of $211 million (Euro$1.9 million). It seeks to support rural social and economic infrastructure development in the traditional banana growing parishes of Portland, St. Thomas, St. Mary, St. James and St. Catherine.

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