Road development to boost housing take-up in Manchester
WITH MAJOR housing developments taking place in the Perth area of Manchester, Member of Parliament Michael Peart has said the upgrade of the roadway from Mandeville to Spur Tree via Swaby's Hope will generate economic activity in that section of the parish and will allow for a greater take-up of housing lots in the area.
Peart, who represents South Manchester, told The Gleaner that the developments make it necessary for the road to be upgraded. The road works will impact both his constituency and Central Manchester, which is represented by another government MP, Peter Bunting.
Peart said the National Housing Trust has developed a subdivision in the area, which has to be accessed from the roadway.
In addition to the NHT scheme, there is a private subdivision in the area, and Peart said when both are combined, they amount to approximately 1,000 housing units.
"The road now is very narrow, and with the traffic that it is expected, it has to be upgraded. In fixing the road, you will encourage more development as people will now more readily go there to build their houses," the MP said.
Perth is located 4.83 kilometres from the Mandeville town centre and extends three kilometres south to areas such as Meadsfield and Knockpatrick in Manchester.
Transport, Works and Housing Minister Dr Omar Davies, in his contribution to the Sectoral Debate, said the Mandeville to Spur Tree via Swaby's Hope road is to be addressed under the Major Infrastructure Development Programme (MIDP) this year.
He said, too, that the Chovey road via Clemont to Highgate in St Mary will also be rehabilitated this year. Both contracts will be carried out by China Harbour Engineering Company.
Davies said, however, that the MIDP is being affected by the limited fiscal space.
"Whilst funding has been secured for the full MIDP on a concessional basis, the target for reduction of the fiscal deficit limits the amount which can be expended on capital programmes," the minister said.
Some $1.5 billion has been earmarked for spending under the road rehabilitation component of MIDP this fiscal year. The funds are to be used to finance the rehabilitation of approximately 60 km of roadway across the network. Another $127 million has been allocated to bridge rehabilitation.
In addition to the roads in Manchester and St Mary, six road works contracts have been sent for jetting, Davies said.
The minister said, too, that six bridges are now targeted for repair this fiscal year. He said engineering designs have been completed for four of the bridges, and the tender processes are in progress.
The main bridges to be targeted under the MIDP are: Silent Hill, Clarendon; Jacob's River in Portland; Latium in St James; and Vanity Fair in St Catherine.