THE NATIONAL Works Agency (NWA) yesterday announced that the Jamaica Emergency Employment Programme (JEEP) will be undertaking a major effort aimed at arresting some of the deteriorating road conditions across the island.
Through the JEEP, the NWA has been allocated $785 million to undertake patching activities over the next three months.
State minister for works in the Ministry of Transport, Works and Housing, Richard Azan, said over the next 12 weeks, some 284,000 square metres of roads will be targeted under the JEEP initiative.
Azan said the services of five construction companies have been engaged to execute the works, which are expected to boost the levels of employment and improve the driving experiences of persons.
He said in order to efficiently execute the works, the parishes have been grouped into packages to which each company will give dedicated focus.
The NWA said just under 30,000 square metres of roads will be targeted in St Thomas. Alcar Construction will undertake these works. The parishes of Kingston, Hanover, Westmoreland and St James will have some 58,000 square metres of patching undertaken by Surrey Paving and Aggregates Limited.
Asphalting Concrete Enterprise will focus on the parishes of St Andrew, St Catherine and Clarendon, where just under 72,000 square metres of roads will be targeted.
Some 83,000 square metres of roads are to be targeted in Manchester, St Elizabeth, St Ann, and Trelawny, and is to be done by S and G Surfacing and Materials Limited. Approximately 44,000 square metres of patching will be done in the parishes of St Mary and Portland by Pavement and Structures Limited.
Among the major corridors to be targeted are the Bull Bay to Grants Pen road in St Thomas, the Junction road in St Mary, the Nolan Hill to Border main road and the Mandela Highway in St Andrew, as well as the Black River to Pedro Cross road in St Elizabeth.
In the meantime, Azan said the work to be undertaken through the JEEP will complement another programme that is being executed by the NWA as part of this year's budget for road maintenance. Approximately $700 million is to be expended this financial year under this programme for patching and routine maintenance activities, such as bushing and cleaning of drains.