Tue | Nov 29, 2022

Holness breaks ground for US$274m MoBay bypass

Published:Sunday | July 17, 2022 | 12:14 AMHopeton Bucknor - Sunday Gleaner Writer

Prime Minister Andrew Holness (centre) and delegation at yesterday’s groundbreaking for the US$274 million Montego Bay bypass.
Prime Minister Andrew Holness (centre) and delegation at yesterday’s groundbreaking for the US$274 million Montego Bay bypass.

Prime Minister Andrew Holness, on Saturday, headed a delegation of dignitaries at the ground-breaking ceremony for the US$274 million Montego Bay Perimeter Road Project and the signing of a memorandum of understanding between the HEART/NSTA Trust and China Harbour Engineering Company Limited, which will be undertaking the project.

The ceremony, put on by the Ministry of Growth and Job Creation in collaboration with the National Road Operating and Constructing Company Limited, was hosted in the vicinity of the Dr Horace Chang Boulevard and roundabout in Coral Gardens, Montego Bay, St James.

The prime minister noted that he considered Montego Bay as the growth centre of the island and the frontier town, but for too long it has been hampered by a serious challenge of traffic congestion and flooding.

“The project will improve 14.9 kilometres of the perimeter road. It will also improve the Barnett Street-Westgreen Avenue roadway, and 10.5 kilometres for the Long Hill bypass, which will carry you through into Westmoreland, but more importantly, we will do a drainage study,” the prime minister said.

“We have done drainage [works] in Montego Bay before and the place is still flooding. To truly control flooding, you have to do a study of the entire area, and you have to understand your current road network, the levels, and how they integrate with each other to carry water off the road and away from critical boundaries and urban areas,” said Holness.

He noted that the road project will see over 90 per cent of workers doing practical work being Jamaicans, and up to 50 per cent of locals carrying out technical labour.

“We have created a parallel structure with China Harbour and HEART/NSTA to ensure that the labour used on this project is 90 per cent local for unskilled or general works. And this is a training component because they will not only be supervised and that’s it. They will be certified so that after this project, they can move on to larger and more technical projects,” said Holness.

hopeton.bucknor@gleanerjm.com