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Pickersgill urges Portland residents to facilitate roadwork

Published:Friday | January 16, 2015 | 12:00 AM

Gareth Davis, Gleaner Writer

PORT ANTONIO, Portland:MINISTER OF Water, Land, Environment and Climate Change Robert Pickersgill on Wednesday reminded Portlanders about the sacrifices and inconveniences they had agreed to endure, during a contract signing in 2012.

Pickersgill, who was addressing business operators and other stakeholders at a meeting at the Old Marina in Port Antonio, recounted that, during the contract signing, business operators and other residents gave their full approval of the commencement of the $1.8 billion water, drainage, and sewerage project.

"Yes, there were inconveniences, but this was made known publicly and was expected. It is a small town, with very narrow streets, and although the complaints are with merit, upon completion of the project, it will prove to be worthwhile and rewarding for the people of this parish capital. One hundred per cent of the pipelines have been laid and are already commissioned into service. Work was scheduled to resume on January 12. However, I have now been given the assurance by the project manager assigned to Vinci Construction Company that work will begin on Friday or Saturday," Pickersgill said.

There have been complaints from business operators and other residents about the poor state of the roadways in and around Port Antonio, primarily along the main thoroughfare at West Street, a major commercial strip, as a result of the work being undertaken by Vinci.

The minister also walked through the town on Wednesday with a team from the National Water Commission, Vinci, along with the political directorate, to view the condition of the streets.

However, overnight work by road contractors painted a good picture of the road network, especially along West Street, which was left in a deplorable state during the festive season.

The project is slated for completion in February, following a second extension.

rural@gleanerjm.com