US$274.5-Million Contract Signed for Montego Bay Bypass

The Montego Bay Perimeter Road Project, will see the construction of a 14.9 kilometre bypass of the city, a US$274.5-million contract was signed on Wednesday, November 24. This is planned to provide cars traveling in that direction with a safe and dependable alternate route. It will also help to alleviate traffic congestion in the city.

Construction of the Montego Bay bypass road, as well as the rehabilitation of Barnett Street and West Green Avenue and the construction of the Long Hill bypass road, are all part of the project’s scope (10.5 kilometres). The project will also include a drainage study of the Montego Bay bypass area.

The Ministry of Economic Growth and Job Creation signed a contract with China Harbour Engineering Company Limited (CHEC) to have the work done. The project is expected to open up additional areas south of Montego Bay for development and expansion, as well as provide access to property for housing development.

Prime Minister Andrew Holness announced that as part of the contractual agreement, Jamaicans will be recruited for the jobs that will be created as a result of the project in a speech broadcast live on the internet from Jamaica House.

According to Prime Minister Holness, the contract stipulates that a minimum of 90% of Jamaican laborers be used for unskilled construction work. This is contingent on the workers’ availability. In addition, for technical work, a minimum of 50% of skilled Jamaican workers must be hired.

Other provisions of the contract, according to the Prime Minister, require the contractor to develop and implement a training program for the transfer of knowledge and technology to Jamaican workers as on-the-job-trainees under the Knowledge and Technology Transfer Programme in collaboration with the Human Employment and Resource Training/National Service Training Agency (HEART/NSTA) Trust.

“We have taken great care to ensure that the contract represents a win-win for the contractor and for Jamaica,” he said.

Prime Minister Holness stated that a “macro perspective” in national infrastructure development and the adoption of climate-smart technology is crucial in the future. He claims that the Montego Bay Perimeter Road Project, which will include climate-smart technology, demonstrates the government’s commitment to this cause.

“This project will help with our resilience. The way the road is constructed and designed it is unlikely to be impacted by flooding…We are building the complete infrastructure, so that whatever weather events that would occur as a result of climate change, we have adapted our infrastructure to account for that. So, where there are these unexpected weather events, we should be able to continue to move traffic in Montego Bay…All our infrastructure is being built with that in mind,” he noted.

General Manager, CHEC America’s Division, Yun Peng Lu said the project represents the continued cooperation between the countries. He notes that the goal is to work in Jamaica to become a truly local company, to grow and develop together the Jamaican society and to help build a better Jamaica, and to improve the skills of Jamaican workers.

The National Road Operating and Constructing Company, (NROCC) is in charge of implementing the project, which is funded by the Jamaican government’s Consolidated Fund.