Transport and Works Minister, the Hon. Mike Henry, reiterated that the extensive road rehabilitation to be undertaken across the island through the Jamaica Development Infrastructure Programme (JDIP) project “is for the benefit of the people of Jamaica”, and is not geared to be a partisan effort. At the launch of the Manchester leg of the JDIP programme in Christiana on Thursday (September 09), Minister Henry said that with farming such a critical activity in the parish, it is extremely important that farmers are able to take their produce to the markets, thereby further enhancing economic activity in the parish. He added that the development of roads across the various parishes is part of the vision of the Ministry of Transport and Works to have a seamless connection of road, rail, sea and air within the multi-modal transport plan for the country.

“We are not building the King’s Highway; we are building the people’s roads. By the end of the month the work will start because this programme is part of the cess-dedicated Road Maintenance Fund (RMF) where we will be correcting breakaways, bridges, embankment and roads-whether they are Parish Council roads, farm roads, public roads, housing scheme roads-wherever there are roads in need then we will address the problem. This programme is in keeping with the vision for the country, where persons and communities are no longer isolated from towns and city centres because of bad roads, but persons will be better able to send their children to school, farmers can take their produce to the market and the sick can transported easier to the hospitals.”

Minister Henry also emphasized that while the contractors for the project (China Harbour Engineering Company) will be bringing a wealth of technical experience to the country, the people in the various parishes stand to benefit as the labour concentration will be comprised of local skilled workers.

 “The programme continues for five years and this programme is about bringing the people’s road up to the standard that the people expect deserve. Therefore, it is in your best interest to protect the investment of the country because you will be the ones contributing to the success of the project. The Chinese will bring technical expertise but you will be the ones doing the bulk of the work, because at the end of the day you should be able to tell your grandchildren that you played a role in the construction and rehabilitation of these roads. I take this opportunity to also beg you to refrain from dumping garbage in the gullies and such a practice is counterproductive to development”.

Some of the roads to be rehabilitated in Manchester include:

Ø  Caine Shop to Skull Point

Ø  Dump to Highgate Hall

Ø  Christiana Development Hall

Ø  Wildman Street

Ø  Webb Road

Ø  Land Settlement Loop

Ø  Rocky Park Road

Ø  Retreat to Hatfield

Ø  Grove Place to Halifax

Roads which will undergo periodic maintenance:

Epping Forest

Mandeville to Spur Tree via Swaby’s Hope

Mandeville to Rudds Corner

Williamsfield to Greenvale Bypass

Sedburgh to Clandon

Devon to Alliston

Downs to Alligator pond

Downs to Gutters

Backwoods

Mile Gully to Oxford