Ground broken for promised repair of road from Runaway Bay to Brown’s Town
OCHO RIOS, St Ann — After decades of commuters’ complaints about the condition of the 11-kilometre stretch of road from Runaway Bay into Brown’s Town, St Ann, there was an announcement on Wednesday that the entire thoroughfare will be repaired. Work had been done on some sections in previous years.
The $204.2-million project is being spearheaded by the National Works Agency and the contractor is Morris Hill Limited. Work will include erection of retaining walls, cleaning of existing drains, construction of new drains along with reshaping and asphalting of the road surface.
Member of Parliament (MP) for St Ann North Western Krystal Lee, who was at the ground-breaking ceremony, has asked residents to stoically endure any inconvenience the project my cause.
“I know it may cause some level of inconvenience, but in order to get something done properly, we have to come through a little pain. So I’m gonna ask that we all be understanding while we work to get the road done properly,” she appealed.
It is unclear how long they will have to be stoic as no completion date was mentioned.
Lee has finally been able to keep a promise she made in April 2022 after residents blocked the road in a bid to press her to have the issue addressed. She had promised then that efforts were being made to secure approximately $300 million to fix the road within the next financial year.
“This project comes on stream at this time because of the persistence of your MP advocating for the people of St Ann,” minister without portfolio in the Ministry of Economic Growth and Job Creation with responsibility for works Everald Warmington said as he broke ground for the road rehabilitation project.
“She said, ‘Minister, it has to be done,’ ” Warmington told the residents.
Lee in turn expressed gratitude to the minister for his commitment to getting the project off the ground.
“I was told that [for] over 30 years this road has never been rehabilitated [all] at once. A lot of people doubted that this would’ve happened. They said they keep hearing that it would’ve happened and it never did. But now we are here to mark the ground breaking,” said Lee.
“We are extremely thankful for this development because this road means a lot to everybody,” she added.
There has been a flurry of ground-breaking and official opening ceremonies in the past few weeks as the country moves closer to the date by which the local government elections must be held, February 28.
According to Warmington, Wednesday’s ceremony “shows our unwavering dedication to improve the life of our citizens”.
“We understand the frustration caused by dilapidated roads so the rehabilitation of this roadway is one of many addressed to enable residents of this parish to go about their business in some amount of comfort,” he declared.