Western News

PM reaffirms commitment to building MoBay bypass

BY HORACE HINES
Observer staff reporter
hinesh@jamaicaobserver.com

Friday, October 06, 2017

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MONTEGO BAY, St James — Prime Minister Andrew Holness says studies are now being conducted for the construction of a bypass road around Montego Bay as he pressed home his commitment to address the acute traffic congestion issue in the resort city.

“We are committed to building that bypass. We don't want to make an error so we are now in the process of doing all the studies. We have done the traffic count; we are doing designs to see where is the best place to get the alignment for the bypass. And that is being done,” Prime Minister Holness said.

“And you know, as prime minister, you begin to realise that major projects really rely on your own drive and impetus. And sometimes if you are not behind them they don't happen. So I want to reassure the people of Montego Bay that I am right behind the bypass to get it done,” he insisted.

The prime minister was speaking at itel-bpo's fifth anniversary celebration and grand opening of its new Montego Bay campus on Wednesday.

His pronouncement was music to the ears of Montego Chamber of Commerce and Industry (MBCCI) President T'Shura Gibbs.

“I am very happy. As a matter of fact, when I was coming here this evening, I was hoping to have conference with him to get an update because the last presentation I saw, they said that the report would be ready for the prime minister by September. So I am very pleased that he (prime minister) was able to speak to it,” Gibbs told the Jamaica Observer.

Over the years, the MBCCI has been at the forefront of lobbying for a bypass for the city to ease the chronic congestion faced by motorists.

On his way to Wednesday's function, the prime minister got a first-hand experience of the traffic congestion during peak hours. To make matters worse, downpours were experienced in the city.

“Coming into Montego Bay, getting stuck in the traffic, you recognise that the Government has a role to ensure that the infrastructure is in place to facilitate greater investment. And I can see the productivity loss that Montego Bay goes through everyday, evenings and mornings,” Holness remarked.

Gibbs was glad the prime minister experienced the long wait in traffic first-hand.

“I am very pleased that he experienced traffic in Montego Bay at peak time, and so he understands exactly what it feels like and the loss of productivity that our businesses and employees undergo in the city. I am very happy he spoke to it and he stands committed to it (bypass). So I am going to continue to hold him accountable to make sure it is delivered,” Gibbs stated.

Meanwhile, the prime minister also promised to address the drainage issue in Montego Bay.

“We almost floated off before we got here because the drainage is clearly an issue. That's a short-term, immediate capital expenditure. That's between the NWA (National Works Agency) and the parish council to resolve. And I have seen it for myself,” Holness said.

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