VIDEO: $169-million road works planned for Manchester
Government Minister Everald Warmington (left) on a tour of Mandeville yesterday with Manchester Central Member of Parliament Rhoda Crawford. (Photos: Kasey Williams)
New traffic management system to ease congestion in the capital

MANDEVILLE, Manchester — Three projects with a combined value of $169 million were announced yesterday by minister without portfolio in the Ministry of Economic Growth and Job Creation, with responsibility for works, Everald Warmington, to improve the road network in Manchester.

“We have allocated $60 million for three roads. We have the Williamsfield to Cumberland Road. We have the Royal Flat to Old England and Mandeville to Rudd's Corner road,” Warmington told journalists following a tour of the areas.

“These allocations are not for the routine quarterly maintenance (patching). These allocations are for the projects that the Member of Parliament (MP) asked for, so she will be working in collaboration with the team from National Works Agency (NWA) to identify the sections and areas that are priority,” he added.

The two other projects are focused on the town of Mandeville, which has faced challenges with traffic congestion and flooding on major roads.

“As you can see the traffic in Mandeville needs to be regulated,” said Warmington.

Among the roads and intersections to be signalised under the Greater Mandeville Traffic Management System are North Race Course Road to Main Street, North Race Course Road to Caledonia Road, Villa Road to Main Street, South Race Course Road, Caledonia Road, Park Crescent, Manchester Road, Perth Road, and Greenvale Road.

“We will be implementing turning lanes along Main Street onto North Race Course Road… Conversion of Manchester Road into full two-way operation. There will be additional medians and turning lanes throughout the town of Mandeville. This is to be done at a cost of $80 million,” explained Warmington.

“At the same time we will be doing phase two of the drainage system for Mandeville. Phase two will include [a] contract for $8 million to divert the water at the [Manchester Club] Golf Course and there is another $21 million to complete phase two,” he added.

Warmington said two of the projects are scheduled to start within the next month.

“For the roads, those are already in procurement, so within the next month that should start. The Greater Mandeville [Traffic Management System] we have not yet procured, but the funds have been made available. The water [drainage] situation within the next month or so…Phase two will start,” he explained.

Manchester Central MP Rhoda Crawford said she was very happy that the projects have been approved.

“The projects which the minister would have mentioned, these are all situations which I would have observed even before being elected as [MP]… I know where the challenges are, so the major community projects in terms of road rehabilitation, the water situation, the traffic management control, these are my realities and [that of the] constituents,” she said.

“I was very happy that after having made representation … the projects have been approved,” she added.

BY KASEY WILLIAMS Observer staff reporter kaseyw@jamaicaobserver.com

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