Ground was officially broken for work to begin on the JDIP funded Rio Grande Bridge Project on Wednesday, January 12, 2011 in St. Margaret’s Bay, Portland.

Intended to be one of the longest bridges in the island on completion, it is being built consequent upon the permanent damage to the old structure during the passage of Hurricane ‘Dennis’ in July, 2005. Construction of the new bridge is expected to begin in February and scheduled for completion in April, 2012.

Speaking at the groundbreaking ceremony, Minister Mike Henry said, “I endorse the Jamaica Development Infrastructure Programme in a wholesome sensed on this major bridge project. China Harbour Engineering Company Ltd; one of the world’s top construction companies, is in charge of the project, which means that the community can expect the highest standards in the construction of the new facility, which is very important to the linkages across this section of the island.”

Continuing, he said, “There is much more that needs to be done to remedy some of the damaged infrastructure in Portland, but it must be appreciated that there is the rest of the country to attend to. Hence I crave the patience of the people of Portland, as we work to bring the other necessary relief as soon as possible.”

The Minister noted that the project will generate jobs for the community, something he said, was also being done in many other areas over the country on both large and small undertakings under JDIP. He called for all the stakeholders to embrace not only the Rio Grande Bridge Project but all the others occurring all over the island under JDIP.