Done deal - JPS, JCF agree to relocate pole which was slowing construction of police station in Port Antonio
A Jamaica Public Service (JPS) pole that forced a delay in the construction of a multimillion-dollar police station in Port Antonio, Portland, has finally been relocated.
The utility pole, with high-tension wires, was in the area earmarked for the construction of the police station and the JPS indicated to the Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF) that it would have to pay $3.1 million to have it relocated.
But last week, Assistant Commissioner of Police Warren Clarke told The Sunday Gleaner that the utility company gave the JCF a discount.
"They took off about a million dollars and we are happy. The people of Port Antonio have been without a station for a long while," said Clarke.
"I am told that the station was condemned for more than 40 years. So I am relieved that eventually we were able to move forward," added Clarke, who had warned that a delay in relocating the pole could push the estimated 18-month construction schedule beyond its due date.
The JPS had defended the relocation as it pointed out that the pole had wires which carried electricity to several communities in the area, and that the project would include "removing the pole to the other side of the road, as well as planting four additional poles to support the redesign and ensure public safety".
That operation started last week, much to the annoyance of some motorists in Port Antonio, who complained about confusing detours and lengthy delays while moving through the town.
"This is clearly a case of insufficient notice on the part of the authorities. This is what has led to the traffic moving at a snail's pace," said taxi operator Robert Thaxter.
"While one can understand the need to remove the light pole to construct the station, the reality is that motorists and commuters are being inconvenienced," added Thaxter, as motorists travelling into Port Antonio from the east were rerouted from Allan Avenue to Manning Avenue, continuing on Somers Town Road before exiting on to Williams Street.
- Corey Robinson contributed to this story.