Construction to begin on new parliament building this year - Junction Road Project in St Mary completed
Minister without Portfolio in the Ministry of Economic Growth and Job Creation, with responsibility for Works, Everald Warmington, said work is set to commence on Jamaica's new Houses of Parliament and the development of National Heroes Park during Jamaica's 60th year of Independence.
"Phase one of the procurement of a contractor is advanced, and the procurement tender for works is expected to close June 28, 2022, for evaluation," he noted.
The minister was making his contribution to the 2022/23 Sectoral Debate in the House of Representatives yesterday. Another UDC initiative, namely the development of a world-class park on a 26-acre lot in Portmore will provide a much-needed green space for the residents of the area.
Warmington informed that the concept includes: hard and soft landscaping; walkable promenades and plazas; jogging trail; great lawn with amphitheatre; sports facilities; artistic features; commercial spaces; and parking facilities.
"The Public Investment Advisory Board submission for the Portmore Town Centre Park was completed and submitted on March 31, 2022, for review and approval," he said.
Meanwhile, Warmington said that the 4.8-kilometre stretch of road from Broadgate to Agualta Vale along the Junction Road in St Mary is complete.
"Many will recall that the project, which started in November 2017, was delayed by geotechnical and performance challenges. The project is now complete. It was taken over in March and we are now into the defects liability period, which is 15 months," he said. Warmington explained that during this period, should any defects manifest, the contractor will be liable to fix same at his cost. He said the Government is not unmindful of the criticism that has been levelled at the implementation of the Junction Road Project.
"There are important lessons to be learnt. Some of the engineering assumptions proved overly ambitious. However, those familiar with the corridor can attest that the Junction Road Project would always be a challenging one. And so, we cannot let ourselves be overly discouraged by setbacks," the minister said.
He said the project represents a safer, faster, more convenient route for farmers and industry to bring their produce to market and to the ports for export.
"While we will learn from these challenges, this Government remains resolute towards the future goal of modernising the remainder of this important corridor. In fact, we see the current work to correct that fault along the corridor near Chovey or the Westmoreland Bridge as a major step in this thrust forward," he noted.
Warmington said the $300-million project will put an end to what had existed for nearly 100 years with the ground forming the road embankment sinking, especially when there is continuous periods of heavy rain.