DUNCANS, Trelawny - A contract valued at $40.5 million has been signed for the rehabilitation of roughly five miles of roadway from Duncans to Clarks Town
The signing of the document, which was conducted at a brief ceremony in Kingston on Tuesday between the Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries and D R Foote Construction Company Limited, came just one day after irate residents and motorists blocked the thoroughfare to protest against the deplorable state of the road.
Work on the project is expected to get under way within the next two weeks. It is being undertaken under the Cane Roads Rehabilitation Project which is being implemented by the agriculture ministry through its Sugar Transformation Unit, with funding provided by the European Union.
On Monday scores of students in Trelawny were unable to attend classes, as residents and motorists of Crawle and adjoining communities blocked the Duncans to Clarks Town main road to protest the appalling road conditions in the area.
Jamaica Labour Party (JLP) councillor for the area Donovan White told the Observer then, that the road has been in a deplorable state for more than 20 years.
"The roadway has been in terrible condition for many, many years and despite numerous calls to the authorities nothing has been done to have it repaired," White said.
And while conceding that the road has been in a state of disrepair for quite some time, Member of Parliament for the area Patrick Atkinson on Monday described the protest as "unfortunate and political."
He noted that his constituents were aware that funding was in place for the repairs, but because "some people would like to give the false impression that it is their agitation and the demonstration that have resulted in the road being fixed, when the work starts."
Yesterday Atkinson, who won the North Trelawny seat on the People's National Party (PNP's) ticket in the 2011 general elections told the Observer West that he is very pleased that the rehabilitation of the roadway will begin shortly.
He stressed that during the run-up to the election, he had promised the constituents that he would have the
"I am very pleased that the work will start soon. I lobbied very hard for it; and it was one of my election promises, so promise made promise delivered," boasted Atkinson, who is also the Attorney General.