Minister of Transport, Works and Housing, Dr the Hon. Omar Davies on Thursday, June 19, 2014, signed a contract for major infrastructure development work in Clarendon, paving the way for the implementation of the reconstruction of the road from Sour Sop Turn to Danks, Clarendon.

Valued at J$1.28 billion, the contract will see Asphaltic Concrete Enterprise Limited and General Paving Company Limited through a joint venture, undertaking road works along the 10 kilometres stretch.

Noting that the contract had been negotiated some three years ago, Minister Davies said “these developments represents a commitment to transparency” and pointed out that the works “will provide easy links between May Pen and the upper reaches of Clarendon”.

The project falls in the constituency of North Central Clarendon. Member of Parliament, Pearnel Charles said the project was a welcomed one for the communities to be affected and would go a long way to improving the lives of community members.

Speaking at the signing, Permanent Secretary for the MTWH, Audrey Sewell, said that this major project will result in many opportunities for persons in the communities.

The signing, which took place at MTWH’s Maxfield Avenue offices with representatives from stakeholder entities including the National Works Agency, and Ministry officials, is part of a comprehensive, strategic plan by government for the rehabilitation of the country’s road network. The project is being financed through a loan from OFID and will complement the US$350 million Major Infrastructure Development Programme.

Minister Davies said that the scope of the works on the 10 kilometer project include major drainage improvement works, road widening, relocation of utilities and improved pedestrian features for safety.

Guarding against the pattern of delays by some contractors, Minister Davies said Parliament’s Infrastructure Committee would now be tracking the progress of projects, from their implementation to completion, and expressed a desire to have the project completed within the stipulated timeframe of 18 months.

Giving his commitment to its efficient execution, Patrick Gordon, a director at Asphaltic Concrete Enterprise Limited said: “We intend to finish the work on time,” and revealed that the project represents “the largest” of its kind in a handful of successful jobs undertaken by the company, on behalf of the government for the people of Jamaica.  

The work is expected to significantly reduce the commute along the corridor connecting the South Coast with the North Coast.