The much talked-about Montego Bay Perimeter Road will be at least 42 months in the making, according to Everald Warmington, Minister without portfolio in the Ministry of Economic Growth and Job Creation.
Warmington gave the update on the US$274.5 million project during his recent contribution to the 2022/23 Sectoral Debate in the House of Representatives.
He said the implementing agency, the National Road Operating and Constructing Company Limited (NROCC), will design and construct the 15 kilometre perimeter road from Ironshore to Bogue.
NROCC will also design and construct the 11 kilometre Longhill Bypass Road, upgrade Westgreen Avenue and Barnett Street while undertaking a comprehensive drainage study of the Perimeter Road area.
“The design phase is expected to last approximately one year which will then be immediately followed by the construction phase. The total project duration is estimated to be three-and-a-half years," Warmington said.
“In an effort to ensure that this major infrastructure development is done in the most sustainable manner possible, NROCC and the Forestry Department have signed a Memorandum of Understanding. The agreement is intended to mitigate the possible impact on the 62.5 hectares of forest due to the road construction, through phased reforestation,” Warmington said.
He said NROCC will secure lands for replanting while the Forestry Department will provide seedlings and technical expertise to guide the planting and maintenance activities.
The perimeter road will be constructed by China Harbour Engineering Company with the Jamaican Government providing the funding.
“I am pleased to state that this will be the first major highway development that is financed with Jamaica’s own resources and not linked to a loan,” said a beaming Warmington.
He also provided an update on the Northern Coastal Highway Improvement Project, noting that NROCC has commenced project planning activities for the upgrade of approximately 60 kilometres of roadway from Seacastles in St James to Mammee Bay in St Ann. The roadway will be upgraded from two to four lanes to ease traffic congestion in St Ann.
“This is also in line with the Government of Jamaica’s Urban Development Strategy which includes relieving the traffic flow through coastal towns thereby pushing townships and urban development further inland,” Warmington said.
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