RESIDENTS of Portmore, St Catherine, could see a relief of traffic congestion in coming months, as there will be expansions of several roads in the community.
Communications manager at National Works Agency (NWA) Stephen Shaw told the Jamaica Observer that road improvement should be carried out on Grange Lane before the end of this financial year, March 31.
“We are working to improve access into Portmore as well as reduce congestion levels. Roads to be worked on are Naggo Head to Hellshire Road and sections of I-95 road,” added Shaw.
But Mayor of Portmore Leon Thomas argued that Braeton Parkway, which will see the opening of PriceSmart Inc in April, is in need of an urgent upgrade as the traffic congestion will worsen.
“We have a serious traffic problem right now as we speak, where the residents of Silverstone and Portmore Pines cannot leave their homes because of the traffic congestion. I know that the last six years, and up to last year, the NWA was doing traffic count and the design — and to my surprise, I don't hear the minister making any reference to the road any more,” Thomas argued.
“I hear talks about widening Grange Lane and also the road from Mandela into Portmore. Yes, those roads need to be looked at but the most important one at this time is Braeton Parkway. With PriceSmart coming on the street, it is going to be a really serious challenge for the residents who have to traverse that route,” added Thomas.
The roads in St Catherine are among several earmarked for upgrading and improvement under a new Special Infrastructure Programme.
Minister without portfolio in the Ministry of Economic Growth and Job Creation, with responsibility for works, Everald Warmington had said that the portfolio comprises eight projects based on the need to address the recurrent congestion issue, highway operating costs, safety for motorists and pedestrians, and the provision of water supply and sewer facilities.
The project also includes road construction and sewer and water main improvement.