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WASHINGTON BOULEVARD OFFICIALLY OPENED

Cutting the ribbon to declare the Washington Boulevard open is Hon. Othneil Lawrence, Minister of State in the Ministry of Transport and Works. Others in the picture from l-r are: Roger Smith, Director, Technical Services, NWA; Michael Archer from the Contractor, Surrey Paving Ltd; Mr. Daniel Best; Operations Officer, Caribbean Development Bank; Mr. Patrick Wong, CEO of the NWA and Senior Superintendent Coubry.

The recently completed multibillion dollar second leg of the Washington Boulevard Improvement Project was officially opened on Wednesday, October 12, 2011.

Jointly funded by the Government of Jamaica (GOJ) and the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB) at a cost of $1.7B, the 21 month old Project included improvement works along approximately 2.75 km of roadway, which was undertaken by Surrey Paving and Aggregate Company Ltd. The Project covered the area from the Molynes Road/Washington Boulevard intersection to the Dunrobin Road/Constant Spring Road intersection.

Scope of works on the Project included widening of the roadway from two to six lanes, inclusive of dedicated bus lanes; installation of additional traffic signals and pedestrian facilities; improved drainage network; enhanced sidewalks; installation of nearly 70 energy-saving LED lights as well as construction of and improvement to nine structures, including three bridges.

Speaking at the Opening, Minister Mike Henry hailed all who were involved in the completion of the corridor, noting that unlike the construction of Phase One where various problems, in particular security related ones, were a constant challenge, this Phase was completed virtually incident free

Said he, “Indeed, there was not even any need to employ the formerly standard and noticeable police presence on the work site, as the surrounding communities co-operated to a ‘T’, and there was none of the security issues which led to multiple loss of life on the implementation of Phase 1 between Six Miles and Molynes Road, which was concluded in 2001”

Continuing, the Minister said, “Overall, we have a great deal to be very proud of this morning. Now, the commuting time between the heart of the Corporate Area and Central, Western and Northern Jamaica has been significantly enhanced by this major opening up of access and exit from the capital city. Gone are the days when motorists dread the corridor between Molynes Road and Constant Spring Road.”

Also speaking at the ceremony, CEO of the National Works Agency (NWA), Patrick Wong highlighted that plans for the Project were designed as far back as 2002, but only finalized by the Agency’s technical Services Department in 2009. He pointed out that while infrastructural work commenced in January, 2010, the Project was actually implemented in June, 2007, and attributed the delays to several factors. These he listed as, “having to get some critical preliminaries out of the way, including the purchase of 37 parcels of land along Dunrobin Avenue and the re-location of JPS and LIME utilities, and those of the NWC.”

In his remarks, Operations Officer at the CDB, Daniel Best noted that the Project’s completion would redound to the nation’s benefit through reductions in travel time, vehicle operating costs, vehicular accidents and the attendant human and economic losses.

In his remarks, Operations Officer at the CDB, Daniel Best noted that the Project’s completion would redound to the nation’s benefit through reductions in travel time, vehicle operating costs, vehicular accidents and the attendant human and economic losses.

Others speaking at the function included Hon. Delroy Chuck, MP for NE St. Andrew; Ms. Cynthia Burrell who represented Dr. Peter Phillip, MP for EC St. Andrew; Mr. Karl Samuda, MP for NC St. Andrew; Mr. Derrick Smith, MP for NW St. Andrew; Mr. Othneil Lawrence, Minister of State in the Ministry of Transport and Works as well as Rev. Devon Dick who offered Prayers. Cultural Items were offered by the Calabar High School and the Dunrobin Primary School Drama Group.