Highway 2000 May Pen Leg opens after all
THE new May Pen leg of Highway 2000 was opened yesterday, reversing an earlier directive that it would not be opened amid concerns about safety, drainage and access to the toll road.
A press release yesterday from Highway 2000 East-West said the new leg of the highway opened at approximately 1:00 pm, and that the developers of the highway will be addressing the concerns of Minister of Transport and Works Dr Omar Davies.
There were, however, reported confusion among motorists at the intersection of the new highway with the old Sandy Bay leg yesterday where cones were placed. Flagmen on duty helped to ease the congestion.
The opening of the May Pen leg has resulted in changes in various access and exit points along the existing route:
* Access to and from the highway will no longer be possible at Sandy Bay. Motorists travelling from Kingston can exit via Freetown to get to Sandy Bay and motorists travelling from May Pen can also exit via Freetown to get to Sandy Bay.
* The May Pen leg of the Highway ends at a brand new Rio Minho roundabout, and motorists will also have access to and from the May Pen leg of the Highway at Mineral Heights. All other routes remain unchanged.
Passage through the May Pen Toll Plaza for Class 1 vehicles (cars) will be $60; Class 2 vehicles (SUVs and vans) will be $90; and Class 3 vehicles (buses and trucks) will be $180.
This new 10.5 kilometre-stretch of Highway 2000 East-West is expected to cut the travel time from Sandy Bay to May Pen by at least two thirds from the current 18 minutes to only six minutes driving at the permitted speed of 110km/h.
The Clarendon Parish Council, led by Mayor Scean Barnswell had expressed concern that the construction of the highway would prevent residents from certain communities from accessing it, that it could cause flooding in some communities following rainfall, and that signal lights were needed.