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Prime Minister, the Most Hon. Andrew Holness, says work has commenced on the US$274.5 million Montego Bay Perimeter Road Project.
He provided an update while addressing the official opening of the Barnett Business Centre located at the Barnett Tech Park in Fairfield, St. James, on Thursday (November 9).
“Some of you may have seen the works going on, such as the bridge in Irwin. We have started to clear and do all sorts of work there. The box culvert underpass in Irwin and Cornwall Courts has started as well,” Mr. Holness informed.
The Prime Minister said the scope of works extend beyond the perimeter road, noting that other roadways such as the Long Hill bypass will also be rehabilitated under the project.
“For the Long Hill bypass, there will be an entirely new alignment in parts and a far better road surface to drive on. It will open up new opportunities,” he indicated.
Crucial upgrades to Barnett Street and West Green Avenue are also part of the project that goes beyond road improvements.
Mr. Holness noted that having recognised the need for the city’s expansion and the importance of forward-thinking, the Government has allocated resources for an extensive drainage study in the Montego Bay area.
“So, we are doing some drainage that is directly related to the [Perimeter Road and to Long Hill]. So all of that is going to be studied, and once the study is done, then you can programme the infrastructure investment to put in the drains, train the rivers and build culverts,” the Prime Minister outlined.
“All of that is being done now, major works; and it is all being financed out of the budget of Jamaica,” he added.
The Prime Minister said far-reaching benefits are anticipated from the project’s implementation, not only for commuting, but also for Montego Bay’s overall growth.
Mr. Holness noted that the 14.9-kilometre infrastructural development, which marks a pivotal moment in Montego Bay’s transportation landscape, is poised to offer a smoother and more efficient route that will alleviate the traffic gridlock in the city.
The US$15 million Barnett Business Centre, operated by Barnett Limited, is a business process outsourcing (BPO) and local retail space that will generate some 2,000 and 200 jobs respectively, and more than US$1 million annually.
The newly constructed facility will provide supporting services to the surrounding communities of Westgate, Irwin, Sign, Granville, Retirement, Catherine Hall, and West Green, among others.
Among its provisions are a quick service restaurant, pharmacy, medical offices and lab, convenience store, courier services, and full-service salon.
Mr. Holness said this magnitude of investment, means there is confidence in Jamaica’s economy.
“No one takes on that magnitude of resources and makes that investment unless they were certain about the return, calculated the risk, [were confident that] the environment was stable, and knew that the human resources to properly manage these investments existed,” he underscored
“It is the Government that creates that stability [and] it means that the Government is doing its job and has done it well enough to ensure that the investment takes place,” the Prime Minister maintained.