The National Works Agency (NWA) has earmarked $246 million for major rehabilitation works along the roadway between Norbrook, Woodford and Maryland in east rural St. Andrew. The multi-million dollar rehabilitation project to repair these roadways will commence within two weeks. The contract for the road section between Woodford and Maryland Square is awarded to Asphalt Concrete Enterprise Limited and the contract sum is just under $80 million.

A contract for $74 million to rehabilitate the section of road between Norbrook and Woodford Square is awarded to Jatlin Construction & Associates Limited. The scope of work for these contracts includes repair and construction of drains, construction of retaining walls and overlay of the roadway with asphaltic concrete.

On Wednesday May 13, Minister of Transport and Works, Hon. Mike Henry signed the contracts for these works to get underway. The Minister also signed a $92 million contact, awarded to YP Seaton & Associates Limited, to construct a Random Rubble Wall along the Border to Cuffy Gully main road in St. Mary.

A breakaway occurred along this roadway in 2007 and deteriorated in 2008 during the passage of Tropical Storm Gustav and is now impassable. This roadway will be reopened as soon as these works are completed.

Another contract in the amount of approximately $24M was signed for the rehabilitation of Hazard Drive in Clarendon. The contractor here is SM & Associates Ltd.

In speaking to the assistance to be had from funds raised from the gas tax, Minister Henry said, “I piloted the effort to get a dedicated source of funding into the Road Maintenance Fund, as I recognized quite early that only with such a source of funding would we be able to significantly tackle the many infrastructural problems out there.”

The Minister also highlighted the fact that over $250M would be spent in the next few weeks on approximately 400 drains, gullies and waterways in preparation for the 2009 Atlantic hurricane season. The programme has been finalized and the Works Agency has been instructed to move swiftly in having it implemented within the stated guidelines in respect of the procurement procedures relating to emergency works. Some $61M of the budgeted amount will be funded through the Special Consumption Tax on fuel.

The Minister also used the opportunity to announce that the Ministry received two international awards for the construction of the North Coast Highway Improvement Project. At the recently held Iowa Engineering Conference in the USA, the Ministry and Stanley Consultants, which provided consultancy services to the project, picked up first place in the Grand Conceptor Awards category. Both entities also picked up an award for engineering excellence on the North Coast Highway.