Road network review underway, McKenzie says
Minister of Local Government and Rural Development, Desmond McKenzie, addresses the Beckford Lodge Road, Eastern Westmoreland rehabilitation project contract-signing ceremony at the Ministry’s offices in Kingston, on Wednesday, December 7. (Photo: JIS)

KINGSTON, Jamaica - The Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development is spearheading a review of Jamaica’s road network to facilitate rehabilitation and the updating of records.

This was disclosed by Portfolio Minister, Desmond McKenzie, while speaking during Wednesday’s contract-signing ceremony for the Beckford Lodge Road, Eastern Westmoreland rehabilitation project at the Ministry’s offices in Kingston.

McKenzie said the review, which commenced earlier this year, is being done using a geo-mapping system to assess the condition of roadways as part of the rehabilitation process.

“Using technology… is one of the things [that] is helping us… to see what kind of approach we need to take to repair these roads,” he stated.

Participants in the Youth Summer Employment Programme (YSEP) have been engaged in the mapping exercise.

McKenzie noted that significant infrastructural developments undertaken within the last 10 to 15 years have resulted in the creation of new roadways. He said these are to be included as part of the updated record system.

“I think a lot of what we have listed as roads, some of them no longer exist and some of them can no longer be classified as roads. So what we are doing now is [to] do an assessment of those roads [to] eliminate those that no longer exist,” the Minister added.

McKenzie, who pointed out that the mapping process “will take some time”, said that as the Government places greater focus on improving road quality, increased resources will be allocated for this purpose.

“Next year, we will be spending more on roads. Since 2016, the Ministry has seen significant improvement in the allocations coming from the Consolidated Fund to assist in road repairs and maintenance across the country,” he explained.

Noting that the road network has deteriorated over the years, McKenzie assured that the Ministry remains committed to improving it.

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