Regional

$3.8-billion MIDP moves into high gear across the west

Thursday, July 19, 2018

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MONTEGO BAY, St James — Motorists travelling a number of roadways across the western region of the island are set to soon benefit from improved road conditions as the Government has earmarked some $3.8 billion under its Major Infrastructure Development Programme (MIDP) to rehabilitate 16 roadways across the region.

Community relations officer for the National Works Agency, Western Region, Janel Ricketts, says among the roadways being targeted are the Point to Garlands roadway and Valencia Drive in St James; the Smithfield roadway in Hanover; the 13-km stretch between Ferris Cross and Mackfield, the Grange Hill to Little London corridor in Westmoreland and the 110-km stretch of roadway between Comfort Hall and Highgate Hall in Trelawny.

“The Ferris Cross project represents the highest investment recently in a single roadway in the west, totalling approximately US$ 24.9 million ($3 billion). This roadway forms part of the north-south link between St James and St Elizabeth. It is also the main route linking the town of Savanna-la-Mar, Westmoreland, to the city of Montego Bay,” Ricketts noted.

She said in the parish of St James, the Felicity Road, Home Hill to Ironshore, and Valencia Drive are now complete, as well as the Smithfield roadway in Hanover.

Work, she said, continues in earnest with a view to completing the Ferris to Mackfield project by May 2019, while the remaining projects are expected to be completed within the next three months.

“The projects involve significant drainage improvement, the reshaping and asphalting of roadways, the construction of retaining walls, road widening and improvement to pedestrian safety through the construction of sidewalks,” Ricketts told the Jamaica Observer West.

She said residents across the western region are now anxiously awaiting the completion of the projects as the roadways are vital to their daily lives.

“Many of these roadways have not received attention in some time,” she stressed.

Martin Brown, of Felicity Road, in expressing his appreciation for the recently upgraded roadway in his community, said he feels much safer now that the roadway has been widened

According to Brown, the roadway in its previous state was narrow and did not allow for two vehicles to navigate the corridor. He added that there have been several near misses and even recently a fatal accident on the roadway.

Additionally, he said, many persons were afraid to traverse the roadway at nights due to the condition of the roadway.

He stressed that he now feels much more comfortable, especially for his family members, who have to travel at nights.

The Felicity roadway is a critical link road which not only serves residents of the community, but also serves as an unofficial bypass for the busy city centre of Montego Bay for motorists travelling from the direction of that city towards Ironshore and vice-versa.

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