KINGSTON — Minister of Transport and Works, Hon Mike Henry, on April 2, toured several projects being worked on in Kingston and St. Andrew, under the Jamaica Development Infrastructure Programme (JDIP).
The scope of work includes drainage construction, bridge construction, lighting and paving of the thoroughfares, and areas visited were Port Royal Street, Orange Street, New Port West, Pechon Street, Havendale, North Parade and Millsborough.
During the tour of Havendale, Mr. Henry revealed that the roads were being rehabilitated using a process called micro-surfacing.
“The roads have not been done for some 20 years and we have decided to use this process of micro-surfacing on every road in Havendale. The first phase is about 75 per cent complete and now they are moving to put curbs in,” Mr. Henry said.
Micro-surfacing is a polymer-modified asphalt and aggregate mixture designed to protect the pavement and provide a skid-resistant wearing surface. Used at the right time on the right pavement, it is extremely cost-effective. With curing time of about one hour, streets are given back to traffic in short order.
The Minister noted that even though he is reviewing the various projects for the first time, the National Works Agency (NWA) has been reviewing projects in five parishes on a regular basis.
“I will be going to Clarendon and Manchester next week and I will be moving across the island to check on the quality reports and how the progress is going. We should see the programme increase with intensity, as with the next budget, we should double the progress and the implementation of work,” Mr. Henry said.
In his remarks, Member of Parliament for North Western St. Andrew, Derrick Smith said he is very appreciative of the work being done so far under the JDIP.
“I am very hopeful and very confident that in due course the National Works Agency will appreciate the importance of going to the other communities, especially in year two of this five-year programme. We are also grateful to the contractor who has offered some employment to the community,” Mr. Smith said.
Chief Executive Officer of the National Works Agency, Patrick Wong informed that work has started in every parish under the JDIP, with over US$70 million spent so far.
“The programme is doing a multitude of things. We are doing retaining structures; we are doing bridges, road repairs and we are dealing with the drainage situation. We are also doing some river training and we are putting in curbs and sidewalks in the urban centres,” Mr. Wong said.
He explained that the JDIP is a diversified programme, while noting that “it is starting to address some of the issues with the community roads.”
“This programme has been focusing on community roads more than the highways and it will make a tremendous impact on the lives of the people,” he added.
The JDIP is a new works programme, financed through an agreement between the Government of Jamaica and the Government of China. It is geared towards the repair of roads islandwide.
By LATONYA LINTON, JIS Reporter