Minister of Transport and Works, the Hon. Mike Henry (left), is engrossed in conversation with Minister of Health, the Hon. Rudyard Spencer at the Clarendon launch of the Jamaica Infrastructure Development Project recently.

The 9th stop on the Island-wide Jamaica Development Infrastructure Project was made in the parish of Clarendon recently. Transport and Works Minister, the Hon. Mike Henry, and Chief Executive Officer at the National Works Agency, Patrick Wong, in association with China Harbour Engineering Company (the contractors for the project) unveiled the plans for the parish to scores of residents who turned out at the Lionel Town Community Centre. Minister Henry used the opportunity to assure the residents that the work to be conducted is part of a five year plan to overhaul the island’s road infrastructure, and in the process “bring back the vibrant economic life to the parish of Clarendon.”

Men At Work: L-R: Chairman of the Road Maintenance Fund, Clement Watson; Deputy Project Manager JDIP/CHEC, Liu Jailin; CEO of the National Works Agency, Patrick Wong; Minister of Health, the Hon. Rudyard Spencer; Minister of Transport and Works, the Hon. Mike Henry; Minister of Labour and Social Security, the Hon. Pearnel Charles; Member of Parliament for SW Clarendon, Noel Arscott; and Councillor for the Rocky Point Division, Winston Maragh, prepare to address residents at the Clarendon launch of the JDIP project.

“The Jamaica Development Infrastructure Project is critical to the continued development of Clarendon, and toJamaica. The position of Clarendon represents a critical link in the multi-modal vision for the transportation sector in the coming years, and the further development of Vernamfield is also critical to realizing this vision.”

Minister Henry also emphasized that despite the economic constraints facing the country, the emphasis on road improvement is critical; noting that Tropical Storms Gustav and Nicole combined caused over 30 billion dollars in damage to the island’s road infrastructure.

 “After the massive repair bills from successive Tropical Storms, this JDIP programme is a timely intervention in terms of a comprehensive overlay of roads across the island, wherever they may exist. We have to recognize that ‘the road to development is the development of roads’, and with this JDIP programme farmers will be better able to transport their produce to market; children can go to school in comfort; persons can travel to work much easier; motorists can traverse the roads safer, and this will undoubtedly lead to increased productivity for the parish and the country in general.”

Some of the roads to be rehabilitated in Clarendon include Pumpkin to Reckford; Rock River to Moores Chatteau; Salt Spring; North Street; Mitchell Hill; Glenmuir Housing Scheme; Bucknor road; Gravel Hill, among others. River training will also take place along the Upper Reaches of the Rio Minho; Portland Cottage; Rocky Point; Milk River, and Western Park/Lewis Jack Gully.

 

The JDIP programme will be undertaken over five years at a cost of US$400 million, with 15% funding from the Road Maintenance Fund (fuel cess) and 85% funding from China Ex/Im bank through China Harbour Engineering Company. The work commences in November 2010, and ends in 2015, and is being implemented by the National Works Agency, in collaboration with the Department of Local Government and the local authorities. The main targets of the programme include increased driver comfort along all roads; improved road safety; increased capacity of roads to handle vehicular volume; and improved traffic management in town/city centres.