Managing Director of the National Road Operating and Constructing Company Limited (NROCC), Ivan Anderson, has informed that due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, construction of the proposed Montego Bay Bypass in St. James, should commence in 2022, instead of next year.
He was addressing a virtual Town Hall, hosted by the National Environment and Planning Agency (NEPA) and NROCC on Tuesday (June 23), to discuss the environmental impact assessment report on the project.
“We have been delayed as a consequence of COVID-19. A lot of the budgets have been reduced and that has also affected the timing of our project start time, so we had proposed to start next year if everything had gone well,” Anderson outlined.
“The duration of the project is 36 months and we are expected to start in about 2022, subject to the approval of NEPA,” he added.
The Montego Bay bypass will be a 15-kilometre toll road stretching from the Rose Hall main road, in the vicinity of the Blue Diamond Shopping Centre, on to the Bogue Highway.
To be also included in the overall project is the Long Hill bypass, as well as improvements to the Barnett Street and Westgreen areas in the parish, and this will be done at a cost of US$220 million to be funded by the Government.
The environmental impact assessment report on the project was done by CL Environmental Company Limited. The findings presented covered what will happen to the endemic species of animals and plants found in the areas where construction will take place, as well as other environmental and infrastructural concerns.
Stakeholders were also invited to air their concerns.