With the municipality of Portmore expanding and more people living there and commuting to Kingston for work, there is a need for road ways connecting to the country’s major parishes and cities.
In his Budget presentation last week, Prime Minister Andrew Holness announced plans to construct a new access road in Portmore that would connect to the Mandela Highway.
Speaking in Parliament, the Prime Minister explained: “Presently users on either toll road are forced to exit on to the Mandela Highway if they intend to access the other toll road. This inefficiency will be resolved with the design and construction of a full-grade, separated interchange between the north-south highway and the east-west highway in the Caymanas vicinity, with the pre-construction works slated for the financial year 2023/24.
“This is just one step in the long-term plan to build out a fully connected road network across Jamaica that allows users to move seamlessly across the island.”
Portmore’s growing population is believed to be as high as 330,000 and St Catherine, parish which it resides in is placed at 550,000. St Catherine boasts 20 per cent of the country’s population.
With this population explosion both Portmore and St Catherine will have to be part of a major artery of the country’s road networks.
As it now stands the Mandela Highway, a four-lane roadway connects Spanish Town with Kingston. Portmore is connected to Kingston by a section of Highway 2000, a 13-kilomtre tolled motorway which connects Kingston, Ocho Rios, Montego Bay, sections of Hanover, Westmoreland, Manchester and St Elizabeth.
The plan is to build a new highway coming from Mandela Highway into Portmore across the Dyke Road with an overhead bridge. This will help reduce the traffic congestion in Portmore by about 40 minutes.
The Government is considering proposals to confer parish status on Portmore.