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Government to spend more than $600 Million on Road and Infrastructure Project for St. Mary

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#Jamaica, September 19, 2017 – Kingston – The Government has signed a contract with Surrey Paving and Aggregate Company Limited for the first package of improvement works to be undertaken on 4.8 kilometres of main road from Agualta Vale to Broadgate in St. Mary.   The contract, which is valued at more than $597 million, is expected to begin in October and last for 14 months.

The project, which is being implemented by the National Works Agency (NWA) forms part of plans to improve an overall 18.4 kilometres of main roadway from Tom’s River to Agualta Vale.   The second phase, which involves 13.6 kilometres of main road from Broadgate to Tom’s River, will be undertaken over fiscal years.

Works to be carried out on the Agualta Vale to Broadgate main road include construction of shoulders, provision of sidewalks, relocation of utilities, installation of road furniture and road traffic control devices and the construction of surface and subsurface drains.   Construction of bridges and pavement upgrading are also to be carried out on the 28 parcels of lands that were acquired by the Government.

Addressing the contract signing ceremony at the Office of the Prime Minister on September 15, Prime Minister, the Most Hon. Andrew Holness, said the need to have the roadway repaired has long been expressed, having been proposed years ago.   He said the project is being financed from the Capital ‘A’ budget, which is designated for Government of Jamaica-funded projects.

The Prime Minister informed that the works will improve road safety and maneuverability by removing some of the deep curves in the roadway.

“It will (also) increase mobility and reduce both travel time and transportation costs. The project will also resolve the drainage issues in the area while providing greater connectivity between the northern and southern highways of the country,” he said.

The Prime Minister added that the project will have a positive effect on the long-term economic benefits on neighboring towns and communities, through the creation of employment directly related to the works.

“At the end of the project, I expect the people of St. Mary and indeed Portland to say that their tax dollars were well spent,” he noted.

Mr. Holness informed that the contract-signing is a tangible demonstration of the government’s commitment to using infrastructural works to bring improvements to the lives of the people.   He indicated that the improvement works is but a “portion of the Government’s financial commitments to the parish of St. Mary”.

Since April 2017, approximately one billion dollars has been spent on infrastructural works in St. Mary.  They include river training, road patching, drainage improvements and the general rehabilitation of roads and bridges.

Meanwhile, State Minister in the Ministry of Economic Growth and Job Creation, Hon. Everald Warmington, said the overall purpose of the project is to “reduce the fear and trepidation associated with travelling through the junction because of ravines and hair-pin curves”.

“We intend to make the corridor far more reliable and intend to reduce travel times. These are all positives, which will redound to the benefit of not only those who live in St. Mary and Portland but to the entire country,” he said.

Consultancy firm, Stanley Consultants will assist with supervision on the project, and signed a contract with the Government valued at $29.4 million for this undertaking.

Release: JIS

 

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Calls made for reparations tribunal

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Rashaed Esson

Staff Writer

Barbados ambassador to the Caribbean Community, David Comissiong, reportedly called for an international tribunal to seek reparations for the transatlantic slave trade that had milions of Africans forcibly sold into slavery. He was speaking at the third session of the Permanent Forum on People of African Descent (PFPAD) in Geneva, Switzerland on April 17, and he expressed that this is needed as there is currently no international court, to deal with the issues of reparations and that having a tribunal would require positive decision by the UN General Assembly.

In support for Reparatory justice, UN Secretary Antonio Guterres in a video message, addressed the forum while acknowledging that racism is still a major issue today’s society

Comissiong’s view was also supported by other nations at the meeting.

 

 

 

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St Vincent and the Grenadines Cruise Industry Development Efforts

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Rashaed Esson

Staff Writer

St Vincent and the Grenadines is working to expand its cruise tourism industry, joining the Florida Caribbean Cruise Association (FCCA), as a 2024 Destination Development Strategic Partner, as announced at the Seatrade Cruise Global Conference in Miami on April 10.

Minister of Tourism Carlos James, at the Conference, spoke on the significance of the partnership.

“It’s a significant strategic move in terms of working closely with the FCCA, to leverage a lot of the support that they can offer to our island. In fact, some of the reviews that we just had from this recent discussion here at Seatrade, are really valuable about how we can go back home to St Vincent and the Grenadines and further develop our product. It puts us closer with the cruise lines, it puts us closer with a lot of the service providers within the industry,” he maintained.

 

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Jamaica and Bahamas teams named for World Relays

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Rashaed Esson

Staff Writer

The World Relay Championships is coming up and The Bahamas has named its team of 28 members called team 242, according to reports. Jamaica has also named its team of 31. The relays will be held in Nassau, Bahamas at the Thomas Robinson Stadium from May 4 to 5 and about 450 athletes from 36 national teams are expected to compete.

 

 

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