Phillips against changes to south coast highway project
Opposition Spokesman on Finance, Dr Peter Phillips, has indicated that he does not support the government’s decision to change the plans for the Southern Coastal Highway from Harbour View in Kingston to Port Antonio in Portland.
Last Friday, Prime Minister Andrew Holness confirmed that the original plan had been scrapped.
Instead, Holness said there would be a four-lane thoroughfare running from Harbour View in Kingston to Bull Bay in St Andrew.
That section of the highway will cover 6.8 kilometres – that's one-sixth of the distance that was originally planned from Harbour View to Morant Bay.
As the project continues to Port Antonio, Portland, it will be reduced first to a three-lane roadway and then to two lanes.
PHOTO: In this June 17 file photo, Earl Patterson (left), acting CEO of the National Works Agency, makes some points about the roadwork plans for St Thomas to Prime Minister Andrew Holness (right) and Finance Minister Audley Shaw during a press conference yesterday at the Office of the Prime Minister in St Andrew.
Originally, the People’s National Party administration said the highway project would cover road works from Harbour View to Morant Bay, with a section of the new highway to be built to accommodate four lanes, 16 bridges, a flyover and a subway.
Speaking at PNP divisional conference in White Horses, St Thomas yesterday, the opposition spokesman said the government must be mindful that it does not hinder the development of the parish.
Phillips also said the PNP had envisioned that the highway would act like a catalyst to drive employment, tourism and road improvement among other things, in the eastern end of the island and he stressed that this should be fulfilled.
Phillips said the public must be consulted by the government before any change to the highway project is implemented.