Bye, Flat Bridge

Thursday, February 04, 2016

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JAMAICANS now have a "real" alternative to the Bog Walk Gorge and the feared and ill-fated Flat Bridge which spans the Rio Cobre.


Come Monday, motorists will be able to bypass the gorge when the Angels to Linstead leg of the north-south link of Highway 2000 is opened to the public.


Yesterday Prime Minister Portia Simpson Miller helped to cut the ribbon at the Angels Toll Plaza to officially open the link.


Motorists will be able to use the new section of the highway for a month without having to pay a toll.


Simpson Miller, in an address at the opening, said the construction of the highway was an indication of Government’s commitment to modernise Jamaica.


She said the entire north-south highway project, built by China Harbour Engineering Company, will "trigger massive investments" in housing and business along the route.


Omar Davies, the minister of transport, works and housing, said the new leg of the highway will have an immediate impact on the travelling public. "Not only will it radically reduce the travel time between Angels and Moneague [in St Ann], but it will make obsolete the challenges which have come to typify travel through the Bog Walk Gorge," Davies said.


"Never again will flooding of the Bog Walk Gorge be the cause of delays and danger for the travelling public," the minister added, in reference to lives lost and motorists trapped in the gorge during flooding.


Davies said that travel time between Caymanas, off the Mandela Highway in St Catherine, and Mammee Bay, in Ocho Rios, St Ann, will be 45 minutes or less when the other stretches of the North-South Highway are formally opened in a few weeks.


Mike Henry, the Opposition spokesman on transport, lauded the opening of the new highway leg, and again promised that trains will run again in Jamaica if his Jamaica Labour Party forms the next Government.


— Paul Henry

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