UDC projects to be completed by January 2018
THE EDITOR, Sir:
The Urban Development Corporation (UDC) has noted The Gleaner's Letter of the Day referenced as 'UDC Projects on a slow boat to China' and attributed to author Matthew Jones on November 29, 2017.
In the article, the author made a number of points in regard to work being carried out by the UDC in the downtown Kingston area. We wish to address three of these points mentioned in the article.
Point 1: Those works eventually started at the top of this year. The steel frames are up, but there appears to be little else to show up to now, despite the relatively small building that is to be constructed.
Point 2: In the meantime, vendors continue to sell fish for our tables outside the site in rather filthy and unsanitary conditions, including, but not limited to, sewage water running close by at times.
Point 3: Will there be cost overruns on what the UDC had said is a $40-million project? I often wonder how long it would have taken the Chinese to complete what is a relatively small project.
Market district projects
We use this opportunity to remind the public about our ongoing work in the market district, namely Red Rose Fish Market and Jubilee Market in downtown Kingston.
The UDC is carrying out duties as project manager for both contracts with the J$43 million Red Rose Market 80 per cent completed and J$53 million Jubilee Market at 70 per cent completion as of November 20, 2017.
Both projects are funded under the PetroCaribe programme and are scheduled for completion by end of January 2018.
The works on the fish market, located at the intersection of Rose Lane and Heywood Street, include the construction of a framed structure, vendor stall area, and fish storage compartments, along with fencing repairs, which will improve the facilities from which the fish vendors operate in the area.
Works are being carried out by NF Barnes Construction Company. The Kingston and St Andrew Municipal Corporation is a major partner in the project as the owners and operators of the facility. We must point out that an area was provided for the vendors to temporarily continue their trade.
The project is running parallel to the Jubilee Market project at West Parade, with work being carried out by Chin's Construction Limited, downtown Kingston. Previous phases of the project saw the demolition of the original building and the refurbishing and construction of its brick perimeter fence. Currently under way is the reconstruction of the main market building, retaining the architecture and aesthetics of the original gable-end, open-framed structure.
These two projects encountered special challenges due, in part, to technical redesigns which had to be carried out subsequent to the start of foundation works on the existing sites, along with the unique and specific fabrication needs of the trussing structures. These challenges, combined with the social dynamics of the surrounding environment, impacted the smooth flow of the project schedule.
Measures were introduced to mitigate and manage these challenges and to advance works to their current state.
The upgrade of the market district is one facet of the Downtown Kingston and Port Royal Redevelopment Plan 2030, which continues to make progress as the UDC works with partners and investors to facilitate its success.
Dr Damian Graham, DBA, M PHIL, PE
Urban Development Corporation