July completion for Linstead-Moneague bypass
DR Omar Davies, Minister of Transport, Works and Housing, says that the Linstead-Moneague segment of Highway 2000 will be completed in July and opened to the public in early August.
This second leg of Highway 2000's North-South Link is expected to be officially opened by Prime Minister Portia Simpson Miller, during this year's Independence celebrations.
"I have pleasure in announcing that Section 2 (Linstead - Moneague) of this Toll Road will be completed in July of this year, and will be opened to the public in August by the Prime Minister. Completion of this section (Linstead to Moneague) will eliminate the delays all of us have become accustomed to in traversing Mount Rosser and will reduce travel time to 15 minutes," Dr Davies told the House of Representatives Wednesday.
He said work is progressing apace on Section 1 - Ferry to Linstead, and Section 3 - Moneague to Ocho Rios. Target date of completion of these two sections is 2016.
"I have said this many times, but it is worth repeating. The benefit of this toll road, when completed, will far exceed providing commuters with a modern highway, thus reducing travel time," the minister said.
He explained that the potential benefits, in terms of an economic impact, lie in the exploitation of the lands along the highway for a range of developments.
He stated that China Harbour Engineering Company (CHEC) has indicated that the construction of the toll road, important as it is in terms of improving travel, is not an end in itself.
"Their plans involve development of commercial, housing and tourism assets in sections of the country which will be made accessible. However, I wish to stress that we need the involvement of local entrepreneurs interested in long-term investments to pursue these opportunities," he stated.
-- Balford Henry