This is the word from Prime Minister Andrew Holness as he made the announcement during a media briefing at Jamaica House yesterday.
The project was slated to come on stream at a later time, however prime minister Holness noted that the road is now necessary to ease the traffic on Spanish Town Road given the construction and roadwork underway in the Three Miles Area.
The new road will run alongside the rail track between Marcus Garvey Drive and the Caymanas area.
Prime Minister Holness said the move is a part of the Government’s plan to build out Caymanas as a multi-purpose, light industrial, commercial and residential Special Economic Zone.
“The construction of this road will create a dedicated access route to Marcus Garvey Drive for traffic coming from the Mandela Highway. This road will be especially useful to members of the business sector who are involved in the movement of containers,” said Prime Minister Holness.
The new road will be1.4km with a two (2) lane link road from Chesterfield Drive to Marcus Garvey Drive. This will be eight (8) metres wide.
During the media briefing, the Prime Minister signed the contract agreement with China Harbour Engineering Company (CHEC) for the construction of the new road valued at one million United States Dollars. Completion is expected within 4-5 weeks.
Prime Minister Holness said the Government is exploring introducing a one-way system along the new route as they strive to ensure that it maximizes efficiencies from this important investment.
“Our traffic counts show that some 80,000 vehicles use the Mandela Highway on a daily basis. Four thousand vehicles use this corridor during the morning peak with 60% of these heading towards the Portia Simpson Miller Square and the remainder using Washington Boulevard. We therefore expect that this 60% of the vehicles will use this new road to get to Marcus Garvey Drive and on to their destination. We will therefore be in a position to save a considerable amount of travel time,” stated Prime Minister Holness.
In the meantime, a number of improvements will take place with the construction of the new road including:
- Drainage improvement: the installation of pipe culverts along the route including behind Red Stripe and the end of Chesterfield Drive.
- The Installation of temporary traffic signal at the Marcus Garvey Drive intersection with the new link road.
- Widening of the approach to Chesterfield Drive at the Spanish Town Road intersection to accommodate three (3) lanes
- Provision of four (4) bus bays along route from Spanish Town Road to Marcus Garvey Drive
In that regard, Prime Minister Holness is pleading to the public to cooperate during the transition phase.
“I am asking for and expect the full cooperation of local residents and motorists during this period of temporary adjustment and transition towards the greater good-which in this case, is good roads,” said Prime Minister Holness.
The Prime Minister also apologized for the traffic delays being experienced by motorists as the roadworks take place for the development of Jamaica.
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