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Easier ride to Old Harbour on Highway 2000

Published:Thursday | January 21, 2016 | 1:00 AMChristopher Serju
From left: Dr Omar Davies, minister of transport, works and housing; Audrey Sewell, permanent secretary in the ministry; Spanish Town Mayor Norman Scott; Richard Azan, state minister for transport and works; and Guillaume Allain, managing director of TransJamaican Highway Ltd, cut the ribbon to officially open the eastbound off-ramp in Old Harbour, St Catherine, yesterday.
Transport Minister Dr Omar Davies (left) speaks with motorist Lester Clarke about his experience on the east bound off ramp in Old Harbour, St Catherine during yesterday's official opening.
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The off-ramp giving motorists travelling from May Pen, Clarendon, access to the town of Old Harbour, St Catherine and its environs via Highway 2000 East-West was officially opened yesterday morning in a brief ribbon-cutting ceremony.

"It complies with our wish - our duty to satisfy our customers' needs," Guillaume Allaine, managing director of TransJamaican Highway Ltd, told The Gleaner. He explained that the new improvement which has been operational since December 23, 2015 completes a full interchange at Old Harbour. This means that there is now an on and off-ramp in both directions - eastbound and westbound.

"One of our main objectives as the developer of Highway 2000 East-West is to identify the needs of customers and find ways to meet them, and our customers are now enjoying the full benefits of the highway," Allaine added.

Transport Minister Dr Omar Davies was particularly pleased about the relief it would provide for high-school students commuting between Clarendon and St Catherine, who can now get to school and home in a shorter time and for less money.

Meanwhile, Allaine, who told The Gleaner that the initiative had the full support of the Old Harbour Chamber of Commerce, is anticipating that it will facilitate increased economic activity for the towns of Old Harbour and May Pen, as well as neighbouring communities.

And with the speed limit elsewhere on the Highway being 110 kilometres, the TransJamaican Highway Limited general manager urged motorists to drive carefully, pointing out that maximum speed approaching the off-ramp is 80 kilometres. This is especially in light of the positive response already.

"Our customers understand and enjoy the benefits of the highway and we have gotten quite a few indications that they are really looking forward to being able to travel from May Pen on Highway 2000 East-West to get to a destination in Old Harbour," he shared.

christopher.serju@gleanerjm.com