THE Portland leg of the Southern Coast Highway Improvement Project is continuing at a fast pace despite a $6.6-billion cut in the amount the Government allocated to spend on the massive road programme this fiscal year.
The big ticket items reduced were the amount allocated for the acquisition of land, which has been cut by $2.2 billion, while $4.1 billion has been slashed from the amount allocated for fixed assets for the work, which covers the rehabilitation of approximately 110 kilometres of road between Harbour View in St Andrew and Port Antonio in Portland, and the 26-kilometre thoroughfare from Morant Bay to Cedar Valley in St Thomas.
So far, work has started on the corridor from Audley Crossing in St Thomas to Long Road in Portland, and the road from Manchioneal to Fair Prospect, where preparation — including the clearing of land to widen the roadway, cutting down of overhanging trees, and the gathering of stones to construct retaining walls — is in progress.
“The section from Audley Crossing to Long Road will see a complete rehabilitation for that section of the roadway, construction of adequate drainage, and the installation of new water pipes,” Daryl Vaz, minister without portfolio in the Ministry of Economic Growth and Job Creation, told the Jamaica Observer.
“The corridor from Hectors River to Port Antonio will be fully rehabilitated and fitted with new drainage, new retaining wall, where necessary, construction of new bridges, and installation of new pipelines,” added Vaz.