THE opening of the May Pen leg of Highway 2000, which was scheduled for today, has been postponed amid concerns about safety, drainage and access to the highway.
Minister of transport, works and housing Dr Omar Davies reportedly ordered that the opening of the new 10.5-kilometre-long highway be put off.
Efforts yesterday to contact Dr Davies were unsuccessful. However, mayor of Clarendon Scean Barnswell said there was need to make modifications to the existing drainage system to lead storm water from off the highway.
He also had concerns about access to the highway.
"Persons who live in Longville Park and Sandy Bay who want to use the highway cannot exit the highway. This is a serious issue because we believe the Longville Park housing development was not created as a dormitory for persons who work in Kingston but for persons who want to do business in the parish they live in," the mayor told the Jamaica Observer. "I think it is an oversight by the persons who designed the Sandy Bay leg and we have to get it corrected."
Mayor Barnswell said the contractor indicated a willingness to build ramps to facilitate persons living in Longville Park to enter and exit the highway. However, he said he was awaiting word from the Ministry of Transport and Works on the matter, considering the cost and time delay in making the adjustments.
Barnswell made it clear, however, that he would not have a problem with the highway being opened with a view to making the changes at a later date.
The mayor also said there was need for signal lights for persons entering the highway from the Mineral Heights community.
"For now it is a danger zone," he stated.