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Kingston, Jamaica: November 20, 2015 – Residents in the rural community of Mountainside St. Elizabeth and surrounding areas are set to benefit from improved road conditions following the signing of a multi-million dollar contract to effect extensive repairs to the Mountainside main road. The contract was signed in the community recently and was met by applause from scores of residents who welcomed the project.
The contract signing comes on the heels of months of discussion and preliminary work. It was highlighted that the road improvements will improve the journey from Mountainside to areas such as Santa Cruz and Newell. The road repairs also form part of efforts to stimulate community tourism in the area by improving access to the community as well as attractions and places of interest in the Parish including Treasure Beach, Lover’s Leap and Jamaica Zoo.
The Tourism Enhancement Fund (TEF) has allocated J$99.7 million dollars for the project, which will be executed by DR Foote Construction. The venture is in-keeping with TEF’s ongoing effort to improve the travel experience for Jamaicans and visitors alike to local attractions and community tourism projects. The National Works Agency (NWA) will provide support for the project which will be carried out under the supervision of the Tourism Product Development Company (TPDCo).
In underscoring the importance of the project Minister of Tourism and Entertainment Hon. Dr. Wykeham McNeill, said “this project is key to the overall development of St. Elizabeth. The need was clear as good roads are generally accepted as critical to the daily lives of citizens going about their business, for workers to get to the jobs; for farmers to transport produce and for students to travel to school.”
“I hope the fact that TEF funding has made this possible brings home to everyone the fact that the TEF funds are made up of taxes collected from visitors to Jamaica and clearly illustrates the fact that the benefits of tourism are being felt more and more in measurable and practical ways across the length and breadth of Jamaica,” he said.
In lauding the initiative Minister of State in the Ministry of Transport, Works and Housing, Hon. Richard Azan emphasised that “the road improvements will benefit taxi operators and commuters significantly, and taxi operators will be able to see greater earnings as they will spend less money to repair their vehicles.”