Sun | Sep 24, 2017

Construction for Mobay US$200m bypass to begin shortly - PM

Published:Sunday | June 11, 2017 | 6:28 PM
A section of Montego Bay's Hip Strip.

Prime Minister Andrew Holness says construction for a bypass of Montego Bay's congested city centre, estimated to cost some US$200 million, will begin shortly.

“Indeed, myself and Minister without portfolio in the Ministry of Economic Growth and Job Creation Dr. Horace Chang, have been working very hard to ensure that we can start the work in short order,” Holness told delegates at the inaugural Build Expo and Conference at the Montego Bay Convention Centre in St James on Friday.

 “Minister Chang has just returned from China, where he has been trying to secure the financing to do the bypass,” the prime minister added as he highlighted the urgency of the government's intentions.

Holness said it was clear that Montego Bay, which is a major economic hub, needs a bypass to address severe traffic congestion.

“We acknowledge and we agree that it is now a problem. We expect that building the bypass road will free up Montego Bay and make it far more easier for citizens to navigate the city, and also open up new corridors for residential and commercial buildings,”  he said as emphasis the benefits of the bypass.

The Montego Bay Chamber of Commerce and other lobby groups have been pushing for the bypass/ring road.

In an earlier submission, immediate past president of the Montego Bay Chamber, Gloria Henry, said the bypass would provide an alternative route for access to Sangster International Airport and for the over three million tourists that come through the airport annually.

“It will divert the commercial traffic thus allowing more efficient movement in and around the city,” she noted.

The new bypass route is expected to start at Ironshore, which is three to four kilometres from the Sangster International Airport, and will bypass the city centre and Sam Sharpe Square.