Thu | Jul 18, 2019

No sacrifice... JCC demands compensation for road work losses

Published:Tuesday | June 25, 2019 | 9:16 PM
Road work under way along Hagley Park Road in St Andrew - File

The Jamaica Chamber of Commerce (JCC) has reignited demands for compensation for business operators affected by the corporate area road works.

"There must be restitution for ineptitude," said a JCC spokesperson in a statement Tuesday evening insisting that there was poor coordination among the agencies involved in the projects.

For more than a year, the government has been undertaking road expansion projects in Barbican, Three Miles, Hagley Park Road and Mandela Highway in St Andrew.

Some of the projects have overrun their completion schedule.

The chamber said some businesses were forced to cut back on their opening hours, reduce their employment levels or even close their doors as they struggled to balance income and operating costs because of inadequate planning, coordination and poor information-sharing.

"It cannot simply be chalked up to the inevitable price of progress," the chamber spokesperson said.

In the meantime, the JCC says it is relieved that almost all of the road reconstruction work will be completed by the end of September.

"This is good news for the businesses and consumers who have experienced a wide range of disruptions over the past many months," said the spokesperson.

The disruptions included diminished access to businesses, disruptions in vital utility supplies, and potential health hazards due to dust and other pollution, which it said affected hundreds of businesses of all sizes.

 


JCC says some roads may be compromised

The Jamaica Chamber of Commerce (JCC) says a number of members believe some of the major corporate area road projects now under way may be compromised.

According to the JCC, this is because of the absence of upgraded drainage facilities where much of the new road surfaces have been significantly raised.

"We trust that this will not prove to be the case but given the lack of coherent planning that has characterised much of the work thus far, there may be good reason to be apprehensive," a spokesperson said.

The chamber cited the recent flooding on Marcus Garvey Drive saying it should not be ignored.

The chamber also reported that a survey it conducted two months ago among businesses affected by the road works on Hagley Park and Constant Spring roads found an overwhelming perception that there was poor planning and coordination among implementing agencies.

According to the JCC, information required to allow businesses to adjust was inadequate, leading to significant commercial losses.

"In our more recent interventions, we found an unacceptable number of cases where equipment operators were instructed to work on particular stretches of roadway without being provided with the schematics of water, sewage or telecommunications infrastructure on a timely basis or, in some cases, such schematics were woefully inadequate resulting with work going ahead anyway, often with very damaging consequences," said the JCC spokesperson.

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