Western News

MoBay bypass will cost US$150m, says PM

Thursday, January 11, 2018

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MONTEGO BAY, St James - Prime Minister Andrew Holness says it will cost roughly US$150 million to construct the bypass around the city of Montego Bay, which he says should start this year.

He emphasised, however, that the road will be an investment that is well worth the cost.

“It is an investment that is worth it. If we are to put a value to the time that has been lost by people sitting down in traffic, accumulate that over 10 years, it will far exceed the US$150 million, so this is something that will be done,” Holness told reporters in Montego Bay recently.

He said that negotiations are far advanced with the Government of China to fund the project, adding that the alignment has already been finalised.

And stressing that the traffic situation is Montego Bay is “obviously a major problem”, the prime minister said it is almost an impossibility to try and solve the current traffic problem with the current network of roads.

“Whatever mitigation ... widening of the existing roadways, make intersection more effective in reducing traffic, the real solution is to get the traffic that really has no business in Montego Bay, going to Hanover and Negril, to bypass the city of Montego Bay,” Holness argued.

He pointed out that the chronic traffic problem in the resort city is almost snapping the energy of the people, stressing that he understands the concerns of the people who have been complaining about spending too much time in traffic.

The Montego Bay business community has long called for a bypass road around the city, stressing that acute traffic congestion is counterproductive.

—Mark Cummings

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