‘Sorry for the inconvenience’
The National Water Commission (NWC) is reporting that work on the Port Antonio, Water, Sewerage and Drainage Project is to be completed by end of February.
The announcement came last week after residents of Port Antonio, backed by Member of Parliament for West Portland, Daryl Vaz, expressed concern about the state of the town because of the infrastructure work.
According to the NWC, the commencement of the application of asphaltic concrete as part of the final road reinstatement work has met upon a slight delay but should resume this week.
The NWC said the project representatives have confirmed that they are now in a position to begin the application of asphaltic concrete finish to the streets, which were already prepared.
"Regrettably, however, the project is experiencing difficulties in receiving adequate supplies from the asphalt company," said the NWC.
"Although the issue is outside of the control of the project, it is expected that supplies will be available (this) week, when the final phase of road reinstatement will continue," added the NWC.
The state agency said despite this slight setback, "both the NWC and its contractor, Vinci Construction, remain fully committed to having the entire road reinstatement completed by the end of February".
Following a report in The Gleaner last Sunday, an extensive tour of the town was carried out by several stakeholders, including Minister of Water, Land, Environment and Climate Change, Robert Pickersgill.
REASON FOR THE SETBACKS
Pickersgill told angry residents that "the setbacks on this project resulted from the relocation of a number of telecommunication, cables which affected the asphalting, as well as the torrential rains which affected the parish in December".
According to Pickersgill, the project, which has resulted in the upgrading of 10 kilometres of water mains, the installation of eight kilometres of new sanitary sewers, three kilometres of storm water drainage conduits and associated sea outfalls, is still within budget even as the scope of the work has changed to include additional benefits.
"Upon completion, the town of Port Antonio will have improved roadways as consultations with the parish council in November has led to an agreement to improve the surface of 15 streets," said Pickersgill.
"The works was also extended in a number of instances to reinstate entire road surfaces instead of just trenches. Forty-three roads were impacted during the project and so far 20 of them are already at the first stage of reinstatement," added Pickersgill.