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Shaw calls for official opening of Christiana bypass

Published:Friday | May 22, 2015 | 12:00 AMDaraine Luton
Audley Shaw
Jeremiah Smith stands in the general area of where hisseven-apartment house which was almost completed, stood prior to being demolished to make way for the Christiana Bypass.
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Audley Shaw wants the Christiana bypass in North East Manchester, which was held up by the People's National Party (PNP) as an example of poor use of taxpayers, to be officially opened.

The one-kilometre road, which was constructed in 2011, cost taxpayers nearly $800 million under the Jamaica Infrastructure Development Programme.

But four years after it was opened to vehicular traffic, Shaw, who is the MP for North East Manchester, said he has been vindicated as the bypass has achieved the objective of reducing congestion in Christiana.

"Plenty of the PNP coming to me now and saying 'Mr Shaw, the town not congested anymore'. People don't have to spend hours going through the town of Christiana anymore, because the bypass is working," Shaw said.

The MP, who was speaking at a divisional meeting held at the Christiana High School recently, said that the Government, which is now formed by the PNP, should show respect to the people of Christiana and officially open the road.

"Prime Minister [Portia Simpson Miller], Omar Davies [Transport, Works and Housing Minister] don't want to officially open the Christiana bypass, but Prime Minister, I am officially inviting you to come and open the bypass. I am showing respect to you and inviting Minister Davies, too, but Prime Minister, I am warning you and Minister Davies that if unno don't come, we are going to have a formal opening," Shaw said.

He added: "If unno don't come as the guest speaker then I, Audley Fitz-Albert Shaw, 'Man-a-Yard', will be the guest speaker."

The member of parliament also promised his constituents that there will be plenty to eat at the opening ceremony.

"We goin have curried goat, we goin have curry dis and curry dat ... . We are going to have a feast and we are going to enjoy it because we know that that bypass, when I am gone, 50 years from now, will stand as a monument of the service to the people of Christiana," he said.

Davies, on Wednesday, told The Gleaner that he had no objection to doing a political opening, but stated that such events were mainly for publicity, noting that it was different from having officials saying that the road is ready for use.

"My approach has been to get things done and move on to the other things to get done. I had no specific plans to have a formal opening for the Christiana bypass. I have no objection to it, but I had no plans to do it," the minister said.