Fri | Jan 15, 2021

Realignment changes made to South Coast Highway

Published:Friday | September 11, 2020 | 12:15 AMShanna Monteith/Gleaner Writer
Khaleo Smith (right) and Leon Beckford from Alcar Construction carry out work on the Font Hill main road on June 8 as part of road improvement across St Thomas.
Khaleo Smith (right) and Leon Beckford from Alcar Construction carry out work on the Font Hill main road on June 8 as part of road improvement across St Thomas.

The National Works Agency (NWA) has announced a major realignment to Segment 1A of the planned Southern Coastal Highway Improvement Project (SCHIP), which runs from Harbour View in St Andrew to the Yallahs Bridge in St Thomas.

The changes, which involve the widening and improvement of the Mezgar Gardens section of the thoroughfare, were shared with stakeholders on Wednesday during a town hall at the St Benedict The Moor Catholic Church in 7 Miles, Bull Bay, St Andrew, which was also streamed online.

Noting that the new changes will not affect the construction cost of the multibillion-dollar project, which has seen some significant cuts to the budget since its announcement, NWA Communications Manager Stephen Shaw said the adjustments to the preliminary designs are being done with the people in mind.

“These changes are optimising the designs to ensure we get maximum benefits from the project as conceptualised. At the same time, where it’s not necessary for certain tracts of land to be impacted, we will see to that,” he said. “Optimising the design is of critical importance because it’s about safety, it’s about travel time, and it’s about ensuring that people have a quality experience at the back end of this project.”

Minor alignment changes have been made at sections such as St Benedict The Moor Catholic Church, Cane River Bridge, Bull Bay football field, and the Pond Side area of Bull Bay.

Major changes have been made at the Mezgar Gardens section and at Grants Pen.

The SCHIP is to see to the rehabilitation of approximately 110 kilometres of roadway between Harbour View in St Andrew and Port Antonio in Portland and the 26-kilometre thoroughfare from Morant Bay to Cedar Valley in St Thomas.

The project will be executed by China Harbour Engineering Company and is being jointly funded by the Jamaican Government and the China Exim Bank.

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