Scenic Holland Bamboo Avenue pockmarked with potholes
Bamboo Avenue in St Elizabeth

HOLLAND, St Elizabeth — People’s National Party (PNP) Region five Chairman Kern Spencer is chastising the Government for rebranding the iconic Holland Bamboo Avenue without first repairing the main road that has been pockmarked with potholes for months.

“Almost every day someone bursts a tyre. The last time I saw a lady in the dark in Holland Bamboo burst a tyre and nobody [was] there to help her. I had to come out and help her because of the atrocious condition of the road,” Spencer said in his address at the PNP’s Brompton divisional conference in St Elizabeth on Sunday.

The Holland Bamboo Avenue relaunch project was undertaken jointly by the ministries of tourism and agriculture and fisheries through $8.5 million from the Tourism Enhancement Fund, according to the Jamaica Information Service.

It involved adding 400 bamboo plants, establishment of a nursery, infrastructure repairs, procurement of tools and equipment, construction of cattle traps, and installation of ground cover plants.

Spencer said he was displeased that the almost two-and-a-half mile road was not repaired.

“It pains my heart when I see the Ministry of Tourism; the officials came down the other day to put up two signs at Holland Bamboo. When you look at the state of the road in Holland Bamboo that is supposed to be a tourism area and all that you can do is drive down and fly down inna helicopter from town come put up two sign and seh that yuh relaunch tourism product. I seh fix the roads first in the tourist attraction before you come talk about yuh ah relaunch,” he said.

However, Member of Parliament for St Elizabeth North Western JC Hutchinson said a contract was put to tender to repair the road.

He added that the relaunch was timely, based on the involvement of the ministries.

“What happened is that the launch was done between the Ministry of Agriculture and Ministry of Tourism. I was hoping that the road would have been patched out before, but they [ministries] found out that their timing couldn’t be otherwise than when they did it,” Hutchinson told the Jamaica Observer on Tuesday.

He said he is awaiting the completion of the tender for the road to be repaired.

“There are three roads in my constituency that are going to be done — Prospect to Green Valley, Mulgrave to Ipswich, those are going to be rehabilitated, and the road through Holland Bamboo going down to YS [Falls] is going to be patched. The tenders have gone out already and we are just awaiting the name of the company that is going to [get] the contract,” said the Government MP.

He added that four breakaways in the Jointwood (near Maggotty) are to be addressed.

Community relations officer for the National Works Agency’s southern region, Howard Hendriks told the Observer that 15 roads are to be patched in St Elizabeth within the next month.

BY KASEY WILLIAMS Observer staff reporter kaseyw@jamaicaobserver.com

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