Contractor’s fainting spell delays contract signing
WESTERN BUREAU — The contract for the $187-million road patching programme in St James, Hanover, Westmoreland and Trelawny failed to get underway Thursday after the contractor fainted before the signing ceremony. There were also some fine-tuning that needed to be done to the contract.
“The contractor and indeed his son had an emergency, that’s point one. And the matter was considered at cabinet and they wanted further and better clarity that would have perhaps caused a bit of a problem in signing,” the transport minister, Robert Pickersgill, later told the Montego Bay Chamber of Commerce Thursday afternoon.
“With that sort of a combination we weren’t able to sign. Those further and better particulars will be provided in a very short time, so I expect within another 10 days or so that will be signed. But everybody is prepared and the preparations are substantially in place. The contractor has done substantially what he is supposed to do in terms of his financing, and some subcontractors have been named. So once the signing takes place we’ll be able to move very quickly,” the minister said.
The transport ministry estimates that the contract for the work in the western end of the island should be signed by the second week of April, work would then begin before the end of the month and should last for about 30 weeks.
The contract for repairs to the 254 kilometres of road has been awarded to D R Foote Construction Company Ltd and will include work on about 25 roads. It is a part of the government’s $750-million patching islandwide programme.
The roads to be patched in St James include Sign to Virgin Valley, Mountpelier to Mafoota, Orange Hill to Stonehedge and Anchovy to Mount Horeb.
In Hanover, they include Riley (via Dias) to Glasgow, Lethe to Burnt Ground, Kew to Jericho and Riley to Bushmount.
Among those in Trelawny are the roads from Stewart Town to Rock, Rio Bueno to Jackson Town, Martha Brae to Kinloss and Deeside to Dromilly.
In Westmoreland, patching will take place in areas including Grange Hill to Little London, Hertford to Flowerville, Grange to Friendship and Torrington to Pennycooke.
But although the patching contract was not signed Thursday, the ministry did sign one valued at $14 million for the construction of the new Styx River Bridge in Westmoreland.
Tankweld will build the structure, which will replace a Bailey Bridge that has been in the area since 1994 when the original bridge collapsed. The new structure will be able to accommodate two lanes of traffic and, according to the minister, improve the carriageway from Savanna-la-Mar to Negril. The work, which will include Gabion Basket protective works to safeguard the structure, has a one-year time frame.