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New US$24.9-m Ferris to Mackfield road 85% complete

Thursday, April 18, 2019

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ST JAMES, Jamaica — The National Works Agency (NWA) says construction of the US$24.9-million Ferris to Mackfield road in Westmoreland is approximately 85 per cent complete.

Community Relations Officer at the NWA's Western Office, Janel Ricketts, told JIS News that most of the work on the 14-kilometre roadway should be completed by May.

This, she said, places the China Harbour Engineering Company Limited-executed project on track to meet the 18-month completion date, adding that “it should be substantially completed in terms of all areas being asphalted”.

“So far, we have completed 10.5 kilometres of base and sub-base work… and of that amount, we have now asphalted approximately seven kilometres. So we have asphalted 3.4 kilometres from Ferris Cross to Whithorn; we have also done the 3.5 kilometres stretch from Mackfield to Haddo,” Ricketts said.

She further advised that work remains to be completed on the middle section of the roadway, which, she added, is expected to be significantly advanced in the region of the community of Galloway by the end of the week. “So once we have pressure tested it, we will be able to asphalt it. The contractor uses a paver, so the process goes by quickly,” the community relations officer added.

Ricketts also advised that new water lines are installed along a section of the roadway, which “we are now in the process of pressure testing”. Additionally, she said drainage infrastructure installation is far advanced as “all the side drains along the asphalted sections have been completed and we have installed the necessary culverts at other sections of the roadway”.

“There were [also] quite a number of retaining structures that were built [and] those are now complete.” Ricketts further indicated.

The Ferris to Mackfield road project, which is being managed by the NWA, is intended to improve the north-south roads linking Savanna-la-Mar and Black River to Montego Bay. The project is being executed under the Government's Major Infrastructure Development Programme (MIDP).

Meanwhile, Ricketts advised that the NWA has commenced compensating residents who were inconvenienced consequent on the removal of structures to facilitate the project. She indicated that the compensation exercise got under way last week.

“Quite a number of residents would have received payment, or are in the process of receiving payment. It is an ongoing process, which we are now working on. By the end of this week, another set of payments should be processed,” she told JIS News.

Ricketts, in noting several residents' concerns about the pace of the payments, pointed out that the NWA is “actively” undertaking the process and assured that “all persons who we have engaged will be paid”.

She further indicated that the NWA is in the process of doing the final relocation to make way for the new alignment, adding that “we have removed most of the fences, houses and other structures”.


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