$140 Million Allocated For Parish Council Road Repairs under JEEP Phase Four

The Government has allocated $140 million to Parish Councils islandwide to repair roads under phase four of the Jamaica Emergency Employment Programme (JEEP), currently underway.

This was disclosed by State Minister for Transport, Works and Housing, Hon. Richard Azan, who noted that the funds will be used to rehabilitate roads for which the councils have direct responsibility.

He was speaking at a ceremony on February 13 to officially open Bashie Road in Bellefield, Central Manchester, one of two in that area which were repaired under JEEP’s third phase, in 2014, at a cost of $6.2 million. The other is Woodlawn Crescent in Royal Flat.

Mr. Azan noted that both roads are among over 1,000 for which projects have, to date, been completed under JEEP’s four phases, since the programme commenced in 2012.

The State Minister announced that additional road developments are either slated for commencement or completion in Manchester.

He informed that the Old Porus Road will be opened within the next few weeks, while work will start shortly on the Old Kendall Road.

Additionally, Mr. Azan advised that the Long Hill Road is another priority area shortlisted under the project.

National Security Minister and Central Manchester Member of Parliament, Hon. Peter Bunting, in expressing appreciation for JEEP, noted that the programme was “touching communities and making a difference.”

“JEEP represents those small but high impact projects that the Member of Parliament, sitting with the Councillors, can plan to convert a road from a dirt to a paved (thoroughfare), to put in an important retaining wall, (and) to put in a sidewalk where schoolchildren, otherwise, would have to walk in the road,” he said.

Mr. Bunting said he was pleased with JEEP’s progress over the four phases, adding that “we really value this programme…(and) hope it continues into 2015/16.”

Mayor of Mandeville, Councillor Brenda Ramsay, also welcomed the project which she said is enabling the continued development of many communities across Jamaica.

JEEP is one of the Government’s strategies to address unemployment, particularly among Jamaicans in the lower socio-economic groups, as well as persons with special needs, low-skill levels, and those from underserved communities.

By Alecia Smith-Edwards