Last week, I was out at the beautiful Caymanas Golf Course for an event. As per usual for a golf course, it is sprawling acres of green, well-manicure lawns. The club house is perched on a small mountain, and receives a cool breeze. There is a pool, and like most things here, decorations and designs from probably the 1950s. Another place appearing stopped in time.
Just below the golf course is a tract of suburban homes. Dozens and dozens of them. And soon there will be a major highway running through the subdivision. This is part of the China Harbour Engineering Company’s multi-billion (JMD) investment in a new transportation corridor- the North South Highway. Residents are understandably upset, as there does not seem to have been much consultation.
When we drove by the other day, there was a gaping cut-out in the mountain and tons of steel reinforcement already in place, apparently to support a bridge. It does seem that the plan is to cut the highway literally over the heads of residents. Work did not seem to be going on, however. If I recall correctly, the project is on hold. It will be interesting to see how and when it proceeds.
The first phase of this project is already done, with a new link from Spanish Town area to Ocho Rios. I have driven on it several times and it is indeed faster and smoother, but never well-populated. Here are details on the second phase:
Phase 2A – North South Highway features:-
- The construction of 67.2 Km dual carriageway over a 36-months period, including the completion of the Mount Rosser By-pass. The construction is expected to be finalized by the beginning of 2016, operating and open to the public by the middle of 2016. The middle section (Linstead to Moneague) is estimated to be in operations and opened to the public by mid-2014.
- New Toll Plazas and interchanges to access/exit the highway at Caymanas, Angels, Treadways, and Lydford.
- The Section from Linstead to Moneague is estimated to be completed, operating and open to the public by the middle of 2014. This section is currently under construction.
- Section 1 (Caymanas to Linstead) – Construction started in October 2013.
- Section 3 (Caymanas to Mammee Bay – Construction started in November 2013.