Jamaica News: There is general agreement among motorists that road improvement projects in progress in Kingston, St. Andrew and St. Catherine, when completed, will significantly reduce travel time and the amount of petrol used in idle time on the thoroughfares.
These legacy projects are being undertaken through the Government’s Major Infrastructure Development Programme (MIDP).
They include the Three Miles/Hagley Park Road in St. Andrew; Mandela Highway in St. Catherine; the Molynes Road/Washington Boulevard intersection; and Constant Spring Road.
All these roads are being upgraded and widened to lessen congestion, particularly during peak hours in the mornings and evenings.
During a recent JIS visit to Hagley Park Road in the vicinity of Omara Road, where the roadway is being widened, a bearer, who identified himself as Evan, said when completed, there will be reduced traffic congestion.
“When the road is widened, even in these little corners, you will be able to manoeuvre the road properly and it will cut down on the pile-ups,” he said.
At Three Miles, in the vicinity of the roundabout at Portia Simpson Miller Square, where workmen were observed removing a section of the structure, taxi operator, Phillip Dunkley, said the situation will be better once the road is completed.
Mr. Dunkley, who plies the Three Miles to Half-Way-Tree route, said “it will be easier on us taxi operators”.
He said the current situation in untenable, as there is always “pure traffic in the mornings and evenings”.
Another taxi operator, “Bulbie”, who has been in the business since 1990 and who also plies the same route as Mr. Dunkley, welcomes the road improvements, especially the plans to put in additional lanes and a multilayer bridge at Three Miles.
“This means that those persons coming from Portmore will not interfere with the people going downtown Kingston,” he said, adding that, at present, motorists have to spend too much time on the road.
At South Parade in downtown Kingston, Jamaica Urban Transit Company (JUTC) bus operator, Spencer McLeod, who plies the Three Miles area, hailed the Government for its effort to improve the flow of traffic.
“It is a good thing that they (Government) are doing. The upgraded roads will make a big difference,” he said.
Meanwhile, Commanding Officer for the Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF) Traffic and Highway Patrol Division, Senior Superintendent Calvin Allen, described the road improvements as a “major game changer”.
“Our vehicular population has increased exponentially over the last five years or so, and, as a result, the expansion of our main corridors is crucial to that sort of traffic flow,” he said.
“There is no doubt in my mind that the improvement to our road network will certainly create positives in terms of traffic flow and getting people to their various destinations much quicker,” Mr. Allen said.
He noted that since the Barbican and Marcus Garvey Drive corridors have been completed, there has been an ease in traffic congestion in those areas.
Mr. Allen called on motorists to exercise extra caution where the roadworks are in progress, particularly at Three Miles, Mandela Highway and sections of Constant Spring Road.
Last month, while on a tour of the projects in Kingston and St. Andrew, Prime Minister, the Most Hon. Andrew Holness, said the Government’s work to upgrade several major thoroughfares will contribute to a more productive labour force.
“If 12,000 to 15,000 Jamaicans… sit in traffic for 30 minutes to get from home to their destination, you can calculate the loss of time, productivity and built into that, the cost of energy that we waste. This investment will make our labour force far more productive,” he said.
The Prime Minister was able to get a first-hand look at the completed Barbican Road upgrading and work in progress on Constant Spring Road, Mandela Highway and Three Miles/Hagley Park Road.
Source: JIS News