Thu | Jun 20, 2019

Improvement plan activated for Newport West

Published:Tuesday | December 11, 2018 | 12:12 AM
Chief Executive Officer (CEO), of Kingston Wharves Ltd., Grantley Stephenson, outlines the planned upgrade of the drainage system which flows through its property at a meeting held at KWL's offices last Monday.
Minister without Portfolio in the Ministry of Economic Growth and Job Creation Daryl Vaz (right) chairing a meeting of private and public sector interests at KWL last Monday. Also present from left: President of the Port Trailer Haulage Association, Alva Wood, president elect of the Shipping Association of Jamaica, Charles Johnston and CEO of Kingston Wharves Limited Grantley Stephenson
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A Working Group is being established by the Ministry of Economic Growth and Job Creation to commence planning for improvement to Newport West, location of the largest cluster of shipping and logistics enterprises and site of the major cargo terminals in Kingston.

This follows aggressive representation to the various arms of government over several years by the Shipping Association of Jamaica (SAJ). Last week Minister without Portfolio in the Ministry of Economic Growth and Job Creation Daryl Vaz led a team of government officials who were taken on a tour of the port area. The group was guided by members of the private sector who highlighted the challenges besetting the community.

Immediately following the tour, Minister Vaz commissioned the working group to prepare a concrete development plan by the end of June 2019 to bring order to the bustling port community. The working group will put forward a plan to address parking restrictions and traffic management, relocation of vendors to a designated food court area, security in and around the port, enhancements to signage, and the development of a chassis park.

The working group will comprise representatives of the Shipping Association of Jamaica, the Port Authority of Jamaica (PAJ) the Jamaica Constabulary Force, the Kingston and St Andrew Municipal among entities.

"The plan will include timelines and funding, so that we can work together [with] all entities to be able to start implementation. The situation down here [at the port] has existed for far too long, and it is an untenable position," Minister Vaz said.

Kingston Wharves Ltd., one of the larger business owners in Newport West and host of a post tour press briefing, announced that it will be fast-tracking a $100-million upgrade of the drainage system which flows through its property

Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Grantley Stephenson, advised that a collapsed drain and heavy rainfall in October, which flooded several roads near KWL, prompted the entity's decision.

"We have taken the decision to go ahead with it immediately. We want it completed before we get to the next rainy season, because we cannot endure another (spate of flooding) like we did several weeks ago," he said.