Cabinet has approved the award of a contract to China Harbour Engineering Company Limited (CHEC) for the design, improvement and construction of Sections 1A and 1B of the Southern Coastal Highway Improvement Project.
Minister with responsibility for Information, Senator Sandrea Falconer, said the project will involve the 43-kilometre stretch from Harbour View to Morant Bay at an estimated cost of US$385 million.
The work is part of the segment from Harbour View to Port Antonio covering approximately 65 kilometres of roadway.
“The existing main road along the southern coastal section of the island has been in a generally poor condition. The alignment, surface condition and drainage are in need of major improvement,” the Minister said, while addressing today’s Jamaica House press briefing at the Office of the Prime Minister in Kingston.
Among the improvement works are: realignment of the White Horses Bypass to the south of the town of Morant Bay along the seacoast rather than to the north; and modification of the Morant Bay bypass at the western and eastern ends.
Additionally, a section of the highway will be constructed to accommodate four lanes, and major structures are to be built including 16 bridges, one flyover, one subway, along with new pipes and box culverts.
Financing for the project is through the China Exim Bank and is being accommodated in the five-year public sector investment programmes covering the period 2016-2021.
The programme is scheduled to commence in the next financial year and is expected to be completed within three years.
Project manager, National Works Agency (NWA), Alfonso Marshall, said proper structures will be built to ensure that the water will run off to the sea and not in the communities along the proposed highway.