Gov't allocates $324 million to start road rehabilitation in Trelawny NorthernFriday, September 03, 2021
BY HORACE HINES
SALT MARSH, Trelawny — Everald Warmington, the minister without portfolio in the Ministry of Economic Growth and Job Creation, on Wednesday announced the allocation of $324 million to rehabilitate roads in northern Trelawny, which he described as among the worst across the island.
“The Member of Parliament invited me today to tour with her in the constituency to see the problems that she has and to see how best we can correct or address the issue. What I can tell you, since my touring of constituencies, the infrastructure here in Trelawny North is one of the worst I have seen. [They are] terrible roads and drains...,” Warmington said.
He said the $324-million allocation is just a drop in the bucket to address the deplorable conditions he witnessed first hand.
“I will be coming back because this is not enough to address what I have seen here, so we have to look at it again. My job is to go through with these Members of Parliament, particularly the 19 new members, and try and address the situation there. So I will be back to see how much I can address the situation and assist the Member of Parliament to be a good and true representative leader,” stated Warmington.
He was speaking to members of the media following a tour of a number of pothole-riddled roads in Trelawny Northern. He was accompanied on the tour by MP Tova Hamilton, councillors and members of the National Works Agency.
Warmington argued that for more than three decades road infrastructure in the constituency has been neglected. He said he was startled by the condition of a section of the roadway in Dromilly where a large pool of water had settled.
“... There is an allocation there for $20 million [in Dromilly]. [But] that cannot deal with what I saw there! There is one section where you have a pond in the road itself and the drainage [non-existent]. The only thing I didn't see [is] no duck in the pond,” he quipped.
“But that is really what we saw and I am amazed that people are using an infrastructure like that. I was told by the NWA that the last time that road was done was over 40 years ago. Forty years, and it is never addressed. So I am glad that the MP took me there and other locations and I told her it is a good thing that I went there because that has been totally neglected over the years... I believe the constituency has been neglected for 30 years and more,” said the Government minister.
The Government, he said, cannot afford the $850 million it will cost to rehabilitate the 14-mile corridor stretching from Falmouth to Spring Vale, but said $218 million has been allocated to repair the Wakefied to Desside road.
“That [$850 million] we can't find at this time, so the MP has asked us to look at from Wakefield to Deeside and the cost for that is $218 million, and an invitation to tender was sent out on Saturday. So we are going to do the worst section that she had identified,“ Warmington said.
''We have looked at others since we have come and we have looked at the Perth Town fording, which is to be done and what we need there is a box culvert. Normally, a box culvert cost between $15 million and $20 million. I have asked the team to scope and get it to Kingston that we can have it addressed as early as possible.”
Hamilton, meanwhile, welcomed Warmington's tour of the roads in her constituency.
“I am ecstatic. I cannot understate the importance of the minister coming here today. My heart is full. I am very happy that he came and he saw for himself. It is one thing to agitate and advocate and terrorise him about the roads, but it is another thing for him to see it for himself. And the mere fact that he has seen it he's responding and I am very happy about it. And I am anticipating more to come,” the elated parliamentarian declared.
Warmington commended Hamilton for making efforts to improve the roads and has invited other parliamentarians to emulate her.“... Instead of patching pieces here and there she took a stretch and improved the entire roadway itself and others need to look at that,” said Warmington.