The Government is anticipating that substantial works will be completed by March 2023 on the first two tranches of the Southern Coastal Highway Improvement Programme (SCHIP), totalling approximately $11.5 billion.
The Government’s flagship road project, the SCHIP, is being executed in three parts: Part A – May Pen to Williamsfield – 28 kilometres (km); Part B (ii) – Harbour View to Yallahs Bridge – 17.4km; and Part B (iii and iv) – Yallahs Bridge to Port Antonio and Morant Bay to Cedar Valley – 123.65km.
Minister without Portfolio in the Ministry of Economic Growth and Job Creation, Hon. Everald Warmington, in his contribution to the 2022/23 Sectoral Debate in the House of Representatives on May 11, said that the five distinct projects, which make up tranche one, are between 65 per cent to 75 per cent completed at a cost of approximately $5.4 billion.
The projects are Morant River Bridge to Prospect, totalling $1 billion, which is 60 per cent complete; Hordley to Long Road, $551 million, 70 per cent complete; Manchioneal to Fair Prospect, $1 billion, 70 per cent complete; Morant Bay to Georgia, $1.1 billion, 61 per cent complete; and Georgia to Cedar Valley, $1.5 billion, 63 per cent complete.
Tranche-two projects, totalling $6.1 billion are Yallahs Bridge to Louden Hill (Salt Pond), at a cost of $1.3 billion, which is 22 per cent complete; Louden Hill (Salt Pond) to Pomfret, $869 million, 21 per cent complete; Pomfret to Morant River Bridge $1.9 billion, 16 per cent complete; Boston Area to Drapers, $1.1 billion, 26 per cent complete; and Drapers to Port Antonio $1.3 billion, 11 per cent complete.
“We now have 10 of the 15 packages under way between St. Thomas and Portland. We are well under way to making the eastern side of Jamaica the newest side of Jamaica, buttressed by other seminal investments for growth and prosperity,” he said.
He said the third tranche is expected to be substantially completed by the end of 2023.
“Tranche three has not yet commenced. It is the Government’s intention to have the road sections that comprise tranche three commencing this fiscal year,” he told the House.
Tranche-three works include Prospect to Arcadia District, 9.05 km; Arcadia District to Amity Hall, 7.40 km; Amity Hall to Hordley 6.98 km; and Fair Prospect to Boston Area, 6.86 km.
Minister Warmington asked for the public’s patience as the work continues, noting that “ we endeavour to keep such impact to a minimum”.
Meanwhile, he said for fiscal year 2022/23, the National Works Agency (NWA) will continue to execute its mandate to plan, build and maintain a safe, reliable, and quality main road network and flood control systems.
Mr. Warmington said the agency’s primary focus will be on improving the condition of the main road network, which was damaged by recent flood rains, and improving the safety, mobility, and travel experience of road users.
He said investments in the maintenance of the nation’s secondary road network will continue to be focused on pavement repair, cleaning and repair of drains and channels, de-bushing, among other routine activities.
Mr. Warmington informed that the NWA’s top-three priorities for fiscal year 2022/23 will be continuation of the SCHIP, commencement of the Special Capital Expenditure (CAPEX) Programme, and continued Maintenance of Secondary Roads.