JIS News

Over US$10M will be spent on several access roads in Portmore. This figure does not include the cost of upgrading the Mandela Highway. More information on the upgrading works to be done on the roads including the Mandela Highway will be forthcoming at the next meeting with representatives of the residents of Portmore which is to be convened by the Minister of Transport and Works, Robert Pickersgill within four weeks. The Ministry of Transport and Works is expected to complete the design for the upgrading of the Mandela Highway in time for that meeting.
In addition to the Mandela Highway, the Port Henderson Road, Passage Fort Drive and Marcus Garvey Drive are among the roads slated for upgrading works. Mr. Patterson said that the Government was committed to ensuring that the residents have adequate alternative route to the Highway. “We want to create other access roads so that the residents can move freely and swiftly in an out of Portmore”, the Prime Minister said.
The Prime Minister was speaking at a meeting with representatives of Portmore this morning (Feb 24, 2006) at Jamaica House. He described the meeting as the start of “meaningful” consultations which must be continued.
Prime Minister P. J. Patterson said that developers of Highway 2000 Trans Jamaica Highway should attend the next meeting. At that meeting, residents will have an idea of the charges being contemplated for the toll and would therefore be in a position to begin preparation for a discussion with the Concessionaire.
Mr. Patterson said that although it was not up to the Government to decide on the toll charge, they would like the final cost to be affordable to the users of the road.
He told the representatives that he had been pushing for frequent user discount which may require the use of electronic tags to traverse the Highway. He said that the cost of financing has a direct bearing on the toll charge but that the low cost funds obtained from Venezuela would serve to reduce the burden on those who use the Highway.
The Prime Minister proposed that scheduled meetings be institutionalized as a mechanism for continuing the dialogue between the residents, government, developers and NROCC especially on matters that are still to be resolved.
Heading the group that met with the Prime Minister was His Worship the Mayor of Portmore George Lee. Among the organizations represented at the meeting were the Portmore Citizens Advisory Council, All Hellshire Leadership Council, Portmore Joint Citizens Association, Portmore Ministers’ Fraternal, Greater Portmore Joint Council, Portmore Chamber of Commerce, Portmore Development Committee and Portmore Missionary Church.
The Minister of Transport and Works, Members of Parliament from constituencies in Portmore and NROCC representatives were present at the meeting.