Bogue project cost climbs J$700m
The National Works Agency is in the final stages of contracting additional works on the Montego Bay leg of the north coast highway to Surrey Pavement and Aggregate Company Limited.
The variation on the project runs to J$698 million, boosting the construction cost to J$2.1 billion.
The expanded scope of works is priced more than J$270 million above the J$424 million in the Ministry of Transport and Works' 2010-11 budget for land and structures under the Bogue Road Rehabilitation Project.
The original J$1.4 billion construction contract was awarded to Surrey Paving back in November 2008, and work on the project has been under way since 2009.
The problematic roadworks - originally estimated to last one year - were to have been completed by this month, but have faced delays due to relocation of underground pipes and cables.
The last revised completion was estimated to be May 2011, but that timeline was set before finalisation on the variation of works.
Cabinet is still to sign off on the extension of the works, but it has already passed the scrutiny of the National Contracts Commission.
Surrey is building a five kilometre stretch of roadway at Bogue, leading to Reading; improving the intersection at Fairfield and widening the road from two to four lanes.
The Bogue project is described as support for the Northern Coastal Highway Improvement Project, or NCHIP - a programme dating back a decade and a half - to ease traffic congestion in that growing section of Montego Bay.
The three-phase works, under NCHIP, created a high-speed network of roads from Montego Bay to Negril; Montego Bay to Ocho Rios; and Ocho Rios to Portland, developed respectively in three phases.
The project first broke ground back in the mid-1990s on the MoBay-Negril leg, after years of planning.
The Bogue works are being financed by OPEC Fund for International Development, whose loan contribution amounts to J$1.51 billion.