Prime Minister Andrew Holness broke ground on Saturday for the start of the Southern Coastal Highway Improvement Project (SCHIP).
Approximately 110 kilometres of roadway will be rehabilitated under SCHIP. It will stretch from Harbour View in St Andrew to Port Antonio in Portland with another 26 kilometres from Morant Bay to Cedar Valley in St Thomas.
The extension of the PJ Patterson Highway will also form a part of the project. This second phase will have the toll from May Pen in Clarendon, extending to Williamsfield in Manchester.
The two phases of the project will cost the Government of Jamaica US$384m with $195m for the roadwork on the eastern section of the island and $189 for the toll road extension. China Harbour Engineering (CHEC) will do the construction.
“Reducing the distance between people, market, services and knowledge is a great part of what economic growth is all about.”— Prime Minister Andrew Holness
At the launch in Yallahs, St Thomas, Holness said, “we are putting in a road that every single citizen in St Thomas and Portland can drive on to come into Kingston without paying a toll. It’s all about being strategic, so it makes economic sense.
“Reducing the distance between people, market, services and knowledge is a great part of what economic growth is all about. The flow of goods, capital, technology and people will drive economic growth and create a broader space for development and prosperity for all,” Holness said.