Jamaica Gleaner / The much-anticipated major improvement project on Constant Spring Road in St Andrew is to begin early next year, as the Government yesterday signed a multimillion-dollar contract with China Harbour Engineering Company (CHEC) to undertake the works.
Constant Spring Road is the main north-south corridor in the Corporate Area, but has been deteriorating in recent times, leading to traffic jams and delays.
Speaking at the signing ceremony at his office yesterday, Prime Minister Andrew Holness announced that the project will cost the Government US$19 million.
He asserted that the multimillion-dollar undertaking is important to improve mobility within the city and to improve connectivity with other parishes.
He said that the scope of the work will include the laying of sewer pipes, the redevelopment of storm drains and the improvement of the transportation system in Manor Park.
“At the end of the project, we expect to have one good stretch of high-quality road running all the way from Norbook Drive in the north to the Red Hills-Eastwood Park intersection in the south, which gives us approximately four kilometres per lane,” Holness noted.
The prime minister said that with the widening of the road, the carrying capacity will improve from 1,600 vehicles per hour to 3,200 vehicles per hour.
In addition to the road improvement, some 14 intersections will be improved and new traffic-control mechanisms will also be installed along the corridor.
China’s ambassador to Jamaica, Niu Qingbao, endorsed the project, mentioning that the agreement represents a deepening of the partnership between China and Jamaica.
“This is a perfect partnership between our two countries. For the development of Jamaica and the other Caribbean islands, the Chinese government has set aside US$3 billion, half of it – US$1.5 billion – is exclusively for infrastructure projects,” Qingbao stated.
He said that Jamaica has benefited the most from the sums set aside by the Chinese government.
Permanent secretary in the Ministry of Economic Growth and Job Creation, Audrey Sewell, was the main signatory of the contract for the Government of Jamaica.
In the meantime, the prime minister disclosed that the Government has pushed back the timeline for completion from December this year to February of next year.
He explained that the recent heavy rain was a major contributor to the pushback of the date.
Holness also mentioned that the commencement of the major improvement of the Junction road in St Mary is to start early next year.
At the ceremony, state minister in the Ministry of Economic Growth and Job Creation, Everald Warmington, said some 5,000 kilometres of road is to be repaired islandwide.
He urged members of parliament who have not yet met with the technical team from the National Works Agency to do so to get the full benefits of the planned programme.