Local subcontractors working on the St Thomas leg of the Southern Coastal Highway Improvement Project (SCHIP) have been booted from the road works.
During a tour on Thursday, Prime Minister Andrew Holness revealed that the China Harbour Engineering Company (CHEC) Limited is to completely take over the daily operations due to the slow pace at which the project has progressed.
“The pace of work on this stretch from Albion going all the way around to Port Antonio has not proceeded as how we would have liked it. And there are many issues involved in that; I won’t go into all of them. So, we are behind our original projected timelines as to when we would complete all the works, but we have taken certain decisions internally to increase the pace of the works and that will involve China Harbor, taking a more direct approach and direct responsibility,” Holness said.
“China Harbor is responsible for the entire project, but they will get more involved in the actual execution of the works on the ground,” he added.
Member of Parliament for St Thomas Eastern Dr Michelle Charles had in October 2022 called for the immediate removal of the subcontractors NF Barnes Construction & Equipment Company Limited and Kinetic Engineering Services.
Charles at the time shared that the poor conditions of the roadway and slow progress of the work could no longer be tolerated, as she asked for chief contractors CHEC Limited, to overhaul the project.
Substantial road works in the government’s flagship road improvement project were projected to have been completed by March 2023.