On Friday, August 10, the Government of Jamaica signed $497-million dollar contract for rehabilitation of over 22 kilometres of roadway between Ferris Cross and Belmont in Whitehouse, Westmoreland.

The project is being financed by a loan from the Inter-American Development Bank under the Transportation Infrastructure Rehabilitation Programme.

Speaking at the Contract Signing Ceremony, at the Culloden Vocational Centre, The Most Honourable Prime Minister Portia Simpson Miller noted that the rehabilitation of the roadway is timely and serves as a catalyst for a boarder linking of central Jamaica to the West.

Mrs. Simpson Miller also said the contracts will take place in 2 phases. She added that the project will see reconstruction, rehabilitation, drainage and pedestrian crossing being implemented.

Mrs. Simpson Miller noted that when the project is completed, it will seek to “improve the movement of goods, improve travel time; maximize tourism; and a box culvert will be built to improve flooding in the area. The project, she said will open new opportunities for the south coast, benefitting farmers, investors and people doing business in the area.

The Prime Minister urged the contractors to employ individuals within the community, work incident free, and complete the project on time and within budget.

In his opening remarks, Minister of Transport, Works and Housing, Dr. the Honourable Omar Davies, said the rehabilitation of the roadway will compliment a $ 280-million project intended to address water problems in the area. Minister Davies said the Ministry will be monitoring the execution of the project and under budget and will open developments in the area of tourism whilst benefitting the residents.

Managing Director, Asphaltic Concrete Enterprise, Patrick Brown also agreed on completing the project on time and within budget.

Other attendees were: Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Transport, Works and Housing, Mrs Audrey Sewell; Minister of State - Transport, Works and Housing, Honourable Richard Azan; Minister without Portfolio - Transport, Works and Housing, Honourable Dr. Morais Guy; Minister of State in the Office of the Prime Minister and Member of Parliament for Eastern Westmoreland, Honourable Luther Buchanan; His Worship the Mayor of Savanna-la-Mar, Councillor Bertel Moore and the National Works Agency Team.

Minister Omar Davies giving his remarks

Holly Hill Primary School

Prime Minister Portia Simpson Miller giving the keynote address at the signing Ceremony