Thu | Aug 24, 2017

Gov't abandons South Coast highway plan, announces MoBay toll road

Published:Wednesday | June 15, 2016 | 6:39 PM
Shaw: "How could we justify spending US$500 million on a highway to St Thomas? It just does not make economic sense."

Mark Titus, Gleaner Writer

WESTERN BUREAU:
Finance Minister Audley Shaw says the government intends to abandon plans for the construction of the Southern Coastal Highway from Morant Bay in St Thomas to Harbour View in East Kingston.

Instead, he said the Administration will be focusing on building a toll road in Montego Bay.

According to Shaw, it will not make economic sense to pursue the South Coast Highway plan which was unveiled under the previous administration.

The project was estimated to cost some US$500 million.

But speaking at during a luncheon at a Growth Forum in Montego Bay, St James this afternoon, Shaw said it was being shelved.

"How could we justify spending US$500 million on a highway to St Thomas? It just does not make economic sense," Shaw said.

"Bear in mind that the North-South Highway are complaining that it has not reached a point of economic viability and the expenditure on that highway was near US$700 million," Shaw said.

Meanwhile, Shaw says the four-lane MoBay toll road will bypass the city. 

Currently, motorists trying to avoid the heart of the capital endure long delays along the 2.31-kilometre Howard Cooke Boulevard.

Shaw said the bypass would begin in Ironshore, run through Flower Hill and end at West Gate.