For the second time in just over three years, Jamaica has secured a multibillion-dollar infrastructure development programme with China, a government insider has revealed.
The US$300-million agreement was negotiated by Works Minister Dr Omar Davies during his visit to China last month, according to the government source.
In February 2010, Jamaica signed a US$340-million loan agreement with China Exim Bank. Those funds, along with US$60 million provided by the Jamaican Government, were used to finance the controversial Jamaica Development Infrastructure Programme (JDIP).
Davies confirmed yesterday that an infrastructure development project would be "an integral part" of the 2013-2014 Budget, but declined to discuss the details.
"I have heard those numbers," he responded when asked about the new multibillion-dollar agreement with China.
"Let me put it this way, my trip to China achieved all I went for and a bit more," he added.
MOTORISTS will be able to use the newly-constructed Cassia Park Bridge in St Andrew by early next week.
According to Courtney Shaw, site contractor for YP Seaton — the company contracted to carry out the construction of the bridge — only minor work is left to be completed and all forms of traffic will be able to traverse the bridge that replaced a ford in the Sandy Gully.
"People can start using the bridge by next week. All the paving work will be completed by the end of the week and we will only have some minor work to do. It will be ready," Shaw told the Jamaica Observer on Tuesday..
MANDEVILLE, Manchester — Fifteen months after its formal launch, the controversial Christiana bypass road is almost complete and residents of the north-eastern Manchester town are eagerly awaiting its opening.
When the Observer Central did a quick photo tour of the road on Friday, motor vehicles, including taxis, were seen cruising on the pristine one-kilometre, two-lane highway which boasts elaborate underpasses and culverts. It is expected to cost in the region of $J1 billion when the final sums are calculated.
Among the more intriguing questions is the effect the project will have on business in bustling Christiana. Member of Parliament Audley Shaw who, as minister of finance under the former Jamaica Labour Party (JLP) Government assertively justified the project, has consistently said it will help to open up economic development in the town and its environs.
And in February of 2011, Patrick Wong, former chief executive officer of the National Works Agency, described it as “a development road for the town of Christiana so it (the town) can grow”.
A new bailey bridge, constructed by the National Works Agency (NWA) at a cost of $J23.3 million, was officially opened on Wednesday morning in Dover Castle, St. Catherine.
The single lane bridge replaces a structure, which collapsed some two years ago during flood rains associated with the passage of Tropical Storm Nicole.
It serves the communities of Dover Castle, Redwood, Jubilee Town, Golden Grove, Guys Hill, and adjoining areas.
Speaking to JIS News during the official opening, Minister of State in the Ministry of Transport, Works and Housing, Hon. Richard Azan, said the project, which got underway in January, was completed within schedule and budget.
He said the works included the construction of gabion baskets, bridge abutments, a rubble retaining wall, and approach roads.
The State Minister urged operators of heavy duty vehicles to use alternative routes at John’s Pen and Berkshire Hall, as the structure has a carrying capacity of only 50 tonnes.
Repair work being undertaken along the Port Henderson Road in Portmore, St. Catherine should be completed within the next six to eight weeks.
Minister of State in the Ministry of Transport, Works and Housing, Hon. Richard Azan, made the disclosure during a tour of the area on Wednesday, March 20.
The Port Henderson roadway, which is a major link between Spanish Town and Portmore, was damaged by floodwaters associated with Tropical Storm Nicole in 2010.
The works being undertaken include reinstating the roadway, training of the Rio Cobre river and the bonding of the river bank to minimise erosion. Mr. Azan said just under $J100 million has been spent on the project to date.
He explained that while the road was closed, motorists were using a side road “and we have taken the decision that we would just repair it under this project.”
The Minister, who toured several areas in the parish, was accompanied by Communications Manager, National Works Agency (NWA), Stephen Shaw and other Ministry personnel.
A US$28-million state-of-the-art bridge at Rio Grande in St Margaret’s Bay, Portland, was officially open by Minister of Transport, Works, and Housing Dr Omar Davies on Friday.
The completion of the bridge comes seven years after a promise made by then Prime Minister P.J Patterson while on a tour in 2005 following the collapse of the original bridge during the passage of Hurricane Dennis. Patterson, while responding to a question posed by residents, pointed to the area where the new bridge is located and indicated that a replacement bridge would be constructed there.
On Friday, Davies reiterated that the Government is on a quest to tackle the country’s infrastructure, which is paramount for any real economic growth. While stressing the importance of restoring the basic infrastructure islandwide, the minister noted that the repairing, construction, and upgrading of the country’s infrastructure will not be influenced by partisan politics, noting that “it is not appropriate to use the selection of infrastructural projects as a way of determining political rivalry”.
The new Rio Grande Bridge is located in the West Portland constituency represented by opposition Member of Parliament Daryl Vaz.
“This opening is symbolic and important. Jamaica’s diplomatic relations with the People’s Republic of China (PRC) date back to 40 years to the Michael Manley-led administration,” commented Davies. “Today, the PRC has the second-largest economy in the world. Our investment in infrastructure will apply to those that are of urgent need.”
Added Davies: “This bridge was constructed ahead of schedule and well within the budget. The fact that China Harbour Construction Company was able to complete this bridge within the budget and on time is commendable, and our local contractors and engineers should realise and make the effort to do likewise, and this should be the norm for all.”
Speaking during the opening ceremony, Chinese Ambassador Zheng Qingdian said the relationship with Jamaica has been strengthened over the years with China Harbour undertaking a number of infrastructural projects across the island. He also pointed out that Chinese engineers also shared their skills and experience with Jamaican workers, who are now more knowledgable about the technical aspects of bridge construction.
Minister of State in the Ministry of Transport, Works and Housing, Hon. Richard Azan, has expressed satisfaction with the pace and quality of road works being undertaken across sections of Westmoreland at a cost of over $J1.5 billion.
“So far, we are satisfied that the majority of the projects being carried out will be completed within time, as we are hoping to wrap up all these projects by the end of June,” he said.
Mr. Azan was speaking to JIS News on Thursday, March 21, after a tour of road rehabilitation and upgrading projects in the eastern and central parts of the parish.
The works are being undertaken under the Jamaica Emergency Employment Programme (JEEP), the Jamaica Development Infrastructure Programme (JDIP), as other initiatives.
Among the areas visited were Ashton, Berkshire, Cedar Grove, Whitehouse, Belmont, Cave, Stony Bridge and Ferris.
Mr. Azan, who was accompanied by representatives from his Ministry and the National Works Agency, assessed the status of the works and got a first-hand look at the condition of other roadways.
KINGSTON — Prime Minister, the Hon. Andrew Holness, on Wednesday (November 9), officially opened the newly re-constructed Dry River Bridge, situated at Harbour View, St. Andrew.
The four-lane bridge was constructed by Kier Construction Limited at a cost of approximately US$9 million with funding under the Government of Jamaica (GoJ)/Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) Transportation Infrastructure Rehabilitation Programme. It replaces the previous structure, which was destroyed during the passage of Tropical Storm Gustav in 2008.
The bridge project, implemented by the National Works Agency (NWA) over an 18-month period, features raised foot-walks to facilitate pedestrians; energy saving LED street lights and traffic signals; pedestrian crossings; improvements to the Harbour View roundabout; and the installation of 600-mm diameter culvert pipes underground for improved
Prime Minister Holness, who delivered the main address, said that the work that has been done will “provide a permanent support to the corridor of trade between the eastern end of the island and Kingston.
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