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JAMAICA: Multibillion-Dollar Road Upgrades to Ease Congestion, Boost Economic Activity



#Kingston, August 1, 2018 – Jamaica – The Government of Jamaica is expending billions of dollars to upgrade major road segments in Kingston and St. Andrew in order to facilitate seamless travel by the commuting public and enhance connectivity to major markets and commercial centres, thereby boosting economic activity.

The projects being undertaken are the US$19-million Constant Spring Road Improvement project, US$64-million Mandela Highway Realignment and Reconstruction project, and the US$56-million Hagley Park Road Improvement project.  These legacy projects, which are being implemented by the National Works Agency (NWA), represent a continuation of work to improve the island’s road network in order to enhance the quality of life of citizens and to stimulate economic growth and development.

In a recent interview with JIS News, Acting Communication and Customer Services Manager, NWA, Ramona Lawson, says the improvement works are at varying stages of completion and will result in reduction of travel time along the corridors.

“At Mandela, we are currently 86 per cent complete; at Hagley Park Road, we are 12 per cent complete and at Constant Spring Road, 17 per cent complete,” she says.

She explains that the Mandela Highway reconstruction project will, among other things, increase the number of lanes from four to six between Six Miles and the ‘on and off’ ramps of Highway 2000 to reduce the risk of the corridor becoming inundated. The Duhaney River box culvert will be upgraded and a new bridge constructed over the Fresh River.

Mandela Highway is a very important thoroughfare in the nation’s road infrastructure, as it serves as a link between Kingston and the northern, western and southern sections of the island.

“The works that we are currently doing on Mandela include the construction of box culverts under the westbound lanes. We are doing some subgrade filling on the QRamp as well… and we will be prefabricating, offsite, a concrete box culvert that is to be installed in the vicinity of the Six Miles drainage,” Miss Lawson says.  She informs that the project is expected to be completed by year end.

Turning to the Constant Spring Road Improvement project, Miss Lawson tells JIS News that the works include widening of the road from two to four lanes, improved traffic management, upgrading of storm-water drainage, and construction of two additional bus bays at the transportation terminal in Manor Park, St. Andrew.  So far, sewer pipes, water pipes and storm drains have been laid.

“We are doing most of the underground work, which involves extensive excavation. The completion of that project is 17 per cent and most of it is on account of the drainage work that is already done,” Miss Lawson informs.

“We have done some base formation where the drainage is completely in already, and that is leading up from the top section of Constant Spring Road into the Immaculate Conception High School area; we have done about 500 metres along the southbound lane,” she further indicates.

Meanwhile at Hagley Park Road, the NWA is widening 3.6 kilometres of roadway from Three Miles to Maxfield Avenue; constructing a double overpass, a sewer main and sidewalks; installing a number of traffic signals and street lights, undertaking drainage improvement; and setting back perimeter fences and boundary walls.

“We have completed about 40-plus walls… .  The total that we have to do there is 158 walls.  The setting back of walls is taking place all along the project boundary from the Three Miles intersection all the way to the Maxfield Avenue intersection,” Miss Lawson notes.

She says that both the Constant Spring and Hagley Park projects are set to be delivered in June 2019. “The projects have not suffered any major shocks, to date, and so we still intend to meet the June deadline for both projects,” she notes.

Miss Lawson tells JIS News that plans have been implemented by the agency to minimise any adverse impact on the commuting public from the road construction projects that are being undertaken concurrently.

“Our communication mechanisms have been ramped up, our traffic management plans have been vetted, and have been tested, and will be implemented as the need arises… to mitigate any undue negative impact on the commuting public as well as commercial and residential stakeholders,” she points out.

She notes that while persons are still able to use the roadways, they should be mindful of the warnings, restrictions and advisories that have been and will be issued.  She says motorists can expect that at the end of the projects there will be significant decrease in travel time along the corridors.

In the meantime, Miss Lawson says the US$4.4-million Barbican Road Upgrade Project has been completed and has significantly improved travel flow.

“We have not received many complaints, as at recent times, of persons being delayed along the corridor,” she points out.

The Acting Communication Manager adds that continued monitoring will be undertaken in a bid to improve traffic management in that area.

“We are installing fibre-optic cables along the stretch, so that the signals can be synchronised as well as cameras, so that the signals can be altered from our traffic management centre here at head office. So, going forward, the flow of traffic is expected to be improved even more,” she informs.

Miss Lawson adds that LED street lights are also being installed.  “We are about 11 of 18 complete there,” she points out.

The works at Barbican entailed significant widening and upgrading in the vicinity of the Barbican Centre, which is expected to alleviate congestion in the area.  The road infrastructure legacy projects fall under the Major Infrastructure Development Programme (MIDP), which is being financed through a concessionary loan from the Government of China.

MIDP is being implemented by the Ministry of Economic Growth and Job Creation, with funding support from the Government and the Export-Import Bank of China.


By: Chris Patterson

Release: JIS




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Caribbean News

TCI Premier and Delegation visit NCI in Jamaica



#Manchester, Jamaica, 14 August 2022 – The Honourable Charles Washington Misick, Premier of the Turks and Caicos Islands, and his delegation have arrived at the Northern Caribbean University (NCU) in Central Jamaica.The Premier will give the address at the second commencement ceremony and will be conferred with an Honorary Doctor of Commerce Degree.  The Premier completed high school at West Indies College which is now NCU more than 50 years ago.  Premier Misick and his delegation are on a four day visit to Jamaica.The Office of the Premier and Public Policy will bring commencement live on its Facebook page at 2PM EST.The Premier’s delegation includes: First Lady, Mrs. Delthia Russell-Misick; Hon. Arlington Musgrove, Minister of Immigration and Border Services; Hon. Rachel Taylor, Minister of Education, Labour, Employment and Customer Service; Mr. Wesley Clerveaux, Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Education, Labour, Employment and Customer Service; Ms. Althea Been, Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Immigration and Border Services; Mr. Miquel Swann, Deputy Permanent Secretary, Office of the Premier and Public Policy; Mr. Edwin Taylor, Commissioner of Labour; and Mr. Bentley Johnson Aide De Camp.

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Bahamas News

Polio is back; 65 million missed shots in another COVID fall out



By Dana Malcolm

Staff Writer


#USA, August 4, 2022 – For the first time in almost a decade a new case of polio was recorded in the United States. The case which ended in paralysis emphasizes the danger the region faces as vaccination levels drop to 30-year lows.

The World Health Organization warned in early July explained that vaccination in the region of the Americas and the rest of world was dropping rapidly because of various spin off effects precipitated by the Coronavirus Pandemic.

Over 65 million infants missed out on basic vaccines in the last three years thanks to disruptions in routine healthcare, lockdowns and other circumstances. The effects are already being felt as once eradicated disease like measles and polio are once again emerging.

The Pan American Health Organization announced earlier this year the Americas are now facing another measles outbreak after having been declared free of the disease in 2016.

Dr. Jarvis Barbosa, Assistant director of PAHO said vaccination levels are now as low as they were in 1994 for measles and polio and Brazil has had several outbreaks of measles.

In the case of the United States an unvaccinated young adult developed the disease after contact with another individual vaccinated with a live version of the vaccine.

The breakout polio case in the US sent shockwaves across the country because of the severe nature of the disease. Polio is an extremely dangerous disease with no known cure. It causes paralysis in as many as 1 in 200 infected and that paralysis is permanent.

Normally very few school age children would be at risk in the Americas as the vaccine is required to start school but with the gap in vaccinations many more children are now at risk.

Polio was one of the most feared diseases of the 20th century, paralyzing and killing hundreds of thousands, especially children. Thankfully vaccinated individuals are not at risk and as such the WHO is advising that the best way to protect against polio is vaccination.


Photo Caption:  Child in Benin takes Polio vaccine, UNSDG

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Caribbean News

Dunn’s River Offers Special Summer Package



#Jamaica, August 5, 2022 – Persons looking for an adventurous activity to do this summer are being encouraged to take advantage of the ‘Summa Thrills’ promotion, being offered by the world-famous Dunn’s River Falls and Park.

The promotion, which ends September 15, includes paying one cost to climb the Falls, ‘Tek-A-Hike’ and Zip over the Falls via the Chukka Falls Flyer. In addition, persons will also have access to the beach, splash pad, and other amenities.

The cost for residents is $5,000 per person and US$75 per person for non-residents. A photo identification is required to access the resident rate.

“We have partnered with CHUKKA to create this five-star experience,” Marketing Manager, Urban Development Corporation (UDC), Kereen Cole-Ivey, told JIS News.

She further informed that ‘Tek-A-Hike’ is the newest product offering at Dunn’s River Falls and Park and that the promotion provides an opportunity to build awareness and renew interest in the falls and park.

‘Tek-a-Hike’ is a guided, one-hour-and-a-half hike that starts at the Tranquility Gardens and ends in the Dunn’s River Falls & Park Nursery. Here guests can purchase plants or adopt a tree as part of the park’s Reforestation and Conservation Programme.

The hike is approximately two miles and is an experience that the entire family can enjoy. Along the trail, guests will learn about the flora and fauna on the entire property, which is called the Belmont property, as well as the general history of Dunn’s River Falls and Park. They will also get a chance to visit the Belmont Great House ruins.

“Coming out of COVID-19, we thought that this (Summa Thrills) would have been a very great adventure for the family and for everyone to enjoy and have a good time,” said Mrs. Cole-Ivey, adding that the UDC has other plans in place for Dunn’s River.

Dunn’s River Falls and Park is open from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. daily. Persons are being encouraged to book ahead via the Dunn’s River website at, otherwise tickets can be purchased on location.

You may also visit @dunnsriver.jamaica and @udcjamaica on Instagram or call 876 618-6052 for additional information.

The Dunn’s River Falls and Park is managed and operated by St. Ann Development Corporation (SADCO), a subsidiary of the UDC.


Contact: Shanna K. Salmon

Release: JIS

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