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NWA says $25 million would be needed to upgrade 25 Portmore roads

WITH discussions on the proposal to make the Portmore municipality in St Catherine Jamaica’s 15th parish, the National Works Agency (NWA) is recommending that some 25 roadways which service the area be put under its control.

The recommendation comes as the entity, among others, responded to the call of the joint select committee of Parliament deliberating the matter for submissions to be made.

On Wednesday, the NWA’s Winston Mchargh, a director at the agency, said presently it is directly responsible for only three roads in the municipality. He presented the list of roads the NWA has proposed be gazetted as main roads and put under its control. Mchargh said preliminary estimates for the upgrade of the 25 roadways stands at $17 billion “to bring them to good riding condition. We would require annually $520 million for routine and periodic maintenance,” he told the House committee.

The three gazetted roads for which the NWA is responsible are the Naggo Head to Dawkins Pen roadway, the Spanish Town to Port Henderson corridor and the corridor from Tamarind Farm to Naggo Head, a total 26 kilometres.

The 25 additional roads, the agency said, are in a bad condition but serve as main Jamaica Urban Transit Company (bus) routes and convey through traffic.

“These roads typically carry very high volumes of traffic, a typical two lane road is designed to carry about 12,000 vehicles per hour, but the reality is that on average these roads are carrying twice as much up to 25,000 vehicles per day; there is a major congestion issue,” Mchargh pointed out.

He said while the agency does not have direct responsibility for these roadways it has over the years been requested to carry out repair works on them.

“On being gazetted as main roads, the agency will also assume responsibility for any bridges traffic signals, signage and drainage system associated with these roadways,” said Mchargh.

He said the aim of the works would be to dualise some roads and to rehabilitate just about all.

“…So we are looking at major base improvement work, the surface layer, the pavements would be about three inches thick, we would incorporate traffic signals, drainage works and sidewalks where feasible,” Mchargh said.

The roads for which the NWA would have as its responsibility are: Dyke Road, Grange Lane, Bernard Lodge roadway (from Spanish Town bypass to Municipal Boulevard), Dunbeholden Road, Lakes Pen Road, Germaine Road, Bridgeport Road, Hellshire Main road, Braeton Parkway, Braeton Road, Naggo Head Drive, Port Henderson Road, George Lee Boulevard, Municipal Boulevard, Passagefort Drive, Waterford Parkway, Newlands Road, West Henderson Road, Upper West Henderson Boulevard, East Mid Street, South East 4th Street, Gregory Park Main Road, Westchester Drive, Augusta Drive, and Portmore Drive.

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