Greatest allocation to Southern Coastal Highway to date
Having angered residents of St Thomas by cutting allocations that were previously made for the Southern Coastal Highway Improvement Project, the Government is now proposing to spend $8.4 billion on the project this year.
The previous highest allocation was $3.6 billion, which was set aside in this year's budget. That allocation was, however, slashed to $490 million as the Government said it was unable to make substantial headway with the project before the financial year closes at the end of March.
The project was originally set to start in January 2017 and should have been completed by January 2020.
The Southern Coastal Highway Improvement Project refers to the planned development of the stretch of road from Harbour View in St Andrew, through St Thomas, into Portland. It also includes the May Pen to Williamsfield section of Highway 2000.
Some 16 kilometres of the road from Harbour View to Yallahs Bridge will be widened to accommodate four lanes of traffic.
Major rehabilitation work has been planned for 93 kilometres of main road from Yallahs Bridge to Port Antonio, and 27.5 kilometres of main road from Morant Bay to Cedar Valley.
By March 2020, the Government is targeting 23 per cent completion of the leg from Yallahs Bridge to Port Antonio, a seven per cent completion of the road from Harbour View to Yallahs, and a 30 per cent completion of the roadway from Morant Bay to Cedar Valley.