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Billion-dollar Clarendon road project completion deadline extended, opposition wants probe

Published:Thursday | January 7, 2016 | 1:49 AM

A billion-dollar road project in Clarendon which was due for completion in March, is to be extended by three months, but the National Works Agency (NWA) is insisting there will be no cost overruns. 

However, the Opposition Jamaica Labour Party is calling for the Office of the Contractor General to open a probe into the contract award process and to determine whether taxpayers are getting value for money. 

The NWA's communication manager, Stephen Shaw, says the project, which started in September 2014, had to be extended beyond the 18-month timeline, because of excess rock excavation.

He explains that the rock excavation was decided on to reduce costs build retaining walls.  

He insists the budget for the project will not change and he is dismissing the argument that there may have been an overestimate.

 

However, the Opposition Spokesperson on Works, Mike Henry, is alleging that the authorities used Internet mapping service Google maps to design the project.

He is asserting that the design has resulted in inaccuracies and the subsequent extension of the project deadline. 

 

Opposition Spokesman on Works, Mike Henry

The first design was completed during Henry's tenure as Works Minister under the previous Jamaica Labour Party administration. 

The government signed a contract in 2014 for the reconstruction and straightening of 10.5 kilometres of roadway from Soursop Turn to Chapelton.

The project is being done through a joint venture with the government, Asphaltic Concrete Enterprise and General Paving Company Limited.

Up to December 11, NWA said the $1.3-billion project was 37 per cent complete.