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Jamaica wants to expand use of concrete roads

Thursday, April 10, 2014    

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MINISTER of Transport, Works and Housing Dr Omar Davies confirmed yesterday that his ministry was looking at expanding the use of concrete in road construction and repairs.

Dr Davies, speaking at yesterday's final meeting of the Standing Finance Committee (SFC), said his ministry would be meeting with representatives of companies involved in the use of concrete in road construction and rehabilitation.

The minister was responding to questions from Opposition spokesman on finance and planning, Audley Shaw, on the rapid deterioration of roads in his constituency, including the recently built Christiana Bypass.

Shaw said that, because there was no proper road maintenance programme, a number of the roads that were recently repaired or built were rapidly deteriorating.

"I have heard exactly the same complaints, but in recent months I have been engaged with proposals for cement roads," Dr Davies told the SFC.

He said that the use of concrete would cost approximately seven per cent more, but that the payback would be earned from the extended life of the roads.

According to Davies, the Road Maintenance Fund was designed to protect the integrity of local roads, but is hugely inadequate to fulfil its mission.

He said that the fund needed new approaches, and the use of concrete could be the solution as the projected life of concrete roads was significantly longer than those which are asphalted.

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