Trelawny Northern MP says awaiting procurement to start road repairs
A team working on a section of the Martha Brae main road last week.

TRELAWNY, Jamaica — First-time Trelawny Northern Member of Parliament (MP) Tova Hamilton has revealed that the Holland to Bounty Hall section of the 16-mile Falmouth to Springvale corridor is now in procurement.

This new development should be music in the ears of motorists who traverse the pothole-riddled thoroughfare which has been a source of discontent for years.

Last week, the National Works Agency (NWA) indicated that more than 40 per cent of the rehabilitation works planned for the Martha Brae to Holland section of the road had been completed.

This follows last month's long-awaited start of a $200-million rehabilitation project on the Wakefield to Deeside leg.

Hamilton had initially lobbied for the repairs to the entire corridor, but after discovering that the project would cost more than $800 million, which, she said, was unavailable, the MP settled for undertaking the upgrading on a phased basis.

"Remember, I had indicated that I wanted to do it in phases, that has always been my plan. And so, the next phase now Holland to Bounty Hall is actually in procurement," Hamilton told the Jamaica Observer West.

"That's a big deal as well. I'm very happy about that. So as soon as that procurement is complete, then I'll indicate that we're going to start the work as soon as we find a contractor," she added.

She expressed satisfaction with the progress of the Deeside to Wakefield portion of the road.

"It's still under way. I can't wait for the day they tell me it's complete, but it is under way," Hamilton said.

Hamilton, who, leading up to the 2020 General Election, had campaigned on the promise to champion the cause for badly needed road improvements, pointed out that apart from the Holland to Bounty Hall road, there are other road improvement projects in procurement.

She said that she expects a road rehabilitation project to commence soon on the Carib Road, on which two of the parishes top secondary schools are located.

"I'll be doing from right out of Martha Brae Road there, the Carib Road/Zion Road up to the square too. So I am going to start that project as well. So that should be coming under way because that procurement started in February. I am waiting to hear about that as well. That whole area there is going to get a facelift," the first female MP to represent the constituency said.

But she reiterated her disgust with the procurement process which, at times, drags out the start of projects.

"Procurement is, for me, the greatest challenge when it comes to the execution of work. And it has always been my pet peeve. I'm not happy. I'm not happy with how we're going, because sometimes it's not the resource; we understand when we don't have resources to do things, but when we find the resources to do it, this now is going to impede the development. No sah. I don't like it," she reiterated.

"I have a lot of projects in procurement now; I just want them come out. I want to do some work over the Clark's Town to Kinloss Road. I want to do some work on Falmouth Gardens road, that main vein going in, I am going to do that first. I want to do some more work over Reserve; all of these in procurement [and] I am just sitting here waiting," Hamilton said.

"I am doing work in Friendship. From the Wakefield School area I am going start there, so at least the place looks good. It's not going to be the entire road, but I am going to start maybe from the square going as far as possible. A lot coming, and if I have my way much more will come," the MP said.

BY HORACE HINES Observer West writer

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