Tuesday 24 November, 2020

East Palm Bridge now open!

PM Andrew Holness (second left) and Portland Eastern MP Ann-Marie Vaz (third left) cut the ribbon to commission into service the new East Palm Bridge in Port Antonio, Portland, on Friday, July 24. Looking on (from left) are minister without portfolio in the Ministry of Economic Growth and Job Creation and Portland Western MP Daryl Vaz, Mayor of Port Antonio, councillor Paul Thompson, National Security Minister Dr Horace Chang, and Director/Project Manager at Chin’s Construction, Alex Chin. (Photo: JIS)

PM Andrew Holness (second left) and Portland Eastern MP Ann-Marie Vaz (third left) cut the ribbon to commission into service the new East Palm Bridge in Port Antonio, Portland, on Friday, July 24. Looking on (from left) are minister without portfolio in the Ministry of Economic Growth and Job Creation and Portland Western MP Daryl Vaz, Mayor of Port Antonio, councillor Paul Thompson, National Security Minister Dr Horace Chang, and Director/Project Manager at Chin’s Construction, Alex Chin. (Photo: JIS)

It’s been five years since the National Works Agency ordered the previous ‘old East Bridge’ – as many Portlanders call it – closed.

But, on Friday, the recently constructed East Palm Bridge in Portland was commissioned into use by Prime Minister Andrew Holness.

In a Facebook post later that afternoon, PM Holness shared his thoughts on the development, saying: ‘Bridges are critical components of our infrastructure…’

A photo of the East Palm Bridge. (Photo: Yhomo Hutchinson)

‘We remain steadfast in upgrading, restoring and maintaining main, secondary, and tertiary road bridges to acceptable conditions and replacing those which have reached their service life,’ the post continued.

‘More work is programmed for the maintenance and upgrading of other bridges across Portland.’

Portland Eastern MP Ann-Marie ‘Action Ann’ Vaz also lauded the new development via Twitter.

She tweeted: ‘The #EastPalm bridge is officially open! Citizens, especially in #Prospect, have been suffering since the closure in 2015.

A cyclist rides across the newly constructed East Palm Bridge in Portland shortly before it was commissioned into service by Prime Minister Andrew Holness. (Photo: JIS)

Increase taxi fares, loss of income, etc. Well [your] cries have been heard & here we are [thanks] to #MEGJC, #NWA & yours truly. Boom! #ActionDoDat #ActionTea.’

Portland Western MP Daryl Vaz, too, echoed similar sentiments via Twitter.

He said: ‘Yesterday I joined MHPM @andrewholnessjm for a tour of the South Coast Highway Improvement Project following the opening of the East Palm Bridge and the opening of the Manchioneal Police Station.

Major General Antony Anderson (3rd R) and PM Andrew Holness (3rd L) cut the ribbons on the new Manchioneal Police Station as members of parliament and officers looked on.

(Photos: via Facebook)

Vaz shared that the government will be spending $12.91 billion on the project, and went on to say:

‘The project seeks to improve the alignment and capacity of the existing southern coastal main arterial road to ensure that it will be safe and efficient, free from flooding and provide for future development.’

And, in conjunction with the road rehabilitation, the government will be laying new water pipes, mains, and sewage along with telecommunications fibre.

More importantly, East Palm and surrounding areas, such as Prospect, Cross Roads, David Lane, Boys Town, John’s Town, and Land Settlement, will utilise the new bridge.

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