MoBay mayor bemoans road conditions
Montego Bay Mayor Homer Davis said that while the western city is enjoying major investments, the road network, which is one of the most needed supporting structures in development, is falling apart due to lack of proper maintenance over the last 30 years.
"Those of you who have been here long enough (should know that) the roadways, to include Barnett Street, St James Street, Union Street, Market Street, Church Street, Creek Street, Harbour Street and others, have not undergone any major road rehabilitation programme in the last 30 years," said Davis, who was addressing the opening of Isratech's Cornwall headquarters and retail outlet in Reading, St James, on Wednesday.
"It is full time that downtown Montego Bay is given the level of respect as it ought to because when you sell tourism, you sell Montego Bay," said Davis. "As a municipality, we have been patching these streets and we have been taking care of other roadways across the city, but these main roads have been treated like an unwanted stepchild."
The mayor said that Montego Bay is on the cusp of welcoming a number of major investments in the areas of tourism, business process outsourcing and aviation, for which the St James Municipal Corporation is moving apace to undertake major infrastructure works to facilitate these projects.
"We are prepared to bring the necessary resolution to the Ministry of Economic Growth and Job Creation to have all these roads overlaid with asphalted concrete to deal with our sidewalk projects as we continue to deal with our drainage system," Davis later told The Gleaner.
"Montego Bay is too nice of a place for the roads in the city not to get special attention; and if roads are at the top of the agenda, I would like the streets of Montego Bay at the top of the agenda," he said. "When we sell Jamaica as a tourist destination, we sell Montego Bay, and we can't have a Montego Bay [where] we don't have a Montego Bay city tour for the tourist."
Davis said a major sidewalk improvement project, which is part of the corporation's drive to make the city presentable, is now being undertaken.
"The sidewalk improvement that we have started, we have spent over $50 million already; and based on the report from the superintendent's department, we have done close to five kilometres of sidewalk rehabilitation and new sidewalks," explained Davis.