Business, property value boom anticipated from Barbican road project — Chuck

Saturday, September 23, 2017

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KINGSTON, Jamaica (JIS) — A business and property value boom in and around Barbican in north east St Andrew is anticipated from the US$4.4 million road improvement project now underway in the community.

This, according to Justice Minister and Member of Parliament, Delroy Chuck, who says he has seen a private sector development plan for Barbican which includes a major shopping complex.

He told residents at a community meeting on Thursday that the road improvements are expected to significantly reduce travel time in the area, which has long been plagued by traffic congestion, and generate job opportunities from the anticipated expansion of businesses.

Additionally, Chuck said the value of properties in Cherry Gardens, Norbrook and other surrounding areas “will start to go up.”

Meanwhile, Minister without Portfolio in the Ministry of Economic Growth and Job Creation, Dr Horace Chang, who spoke at the meeting, said preparatory work, including land acquisition, is taking place for other road improvement projects programmed for Kingston and St. Andrew.

He emphasised the importance of undertaking sustainable road development that enables seamless traffic flow and overall commuting, and facilitates heightened private sector activities through increased investments and productive capacity in the communities where they operate.

The four-month Barbican Road improvement project, which got underway in August, is being implemented under the administration's Major Infrastructure Development Programme (MIPD) with funding support from the Government of the People's Republic of China. It entails significant upgrading of 1.1 kilometres of the 3.75-kilometre roadway.

This will involve major improvements along the stretch between the intersections at Jacks Hill Road and the roadway leading to Russell Heights as well as East Kings Road to the Barbican Centre, which will be widened to a four-lane carriageway.

Other features will include: conversion of the one-way sections of Barbican Road and the south-bound part of East Kings Road, by the Barbican Centre, to two-way traffic; the installation of traffic signals at the Birdsucker Lane, East Kings Road and Jacks Hill Road intersections; widening of the Bustamante Bridge (box culvert) at the intersection with Jacks Hill Road to accommodate four-lane traffic; construction of 1.5-metre wide sidewalks and medians; the installation of drainage pipe/culverts and LED lights; and new signs, road markings and pavement markers.

These engagements comprise the project's second phase, following the completion of land acquisition and boundary wall construction activities.

The project is being spearheaded by Ministry of Economic Growth and Job Creation through the National Works Agency, and will be executed by China Harbour Engineering Company Limited.

Complementing this will be a $131 million water and sewage infrastructure installation project which will be implemented simultaneously by the National Water Commission, and executed by Surrey Paving and Aggregates Limited.

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