Cement shortage looms in Jamaica

Pushes back transport centre’s completion

The Jamaica Government’s US$71 million (J$4.6 billion) Transport Centre, currently under construction in Half-Way Tree, St. Andrew, has had its completion date pushed back from September 2007 to October 2007.

This is due to the setback the development experienced when the cement crisis hit the construction industry earlier this year.

According to Stefaan Van De Kelder, director of Transurb Jamaica Limited, developers of the Transport Centre, construction has been set back by 20 days.

“The roof will be ready by April and the rest by October next year,” Mr. Van De Kelder said.

Ground was broken for the construction of the state-of-the-art centre by former Prime Minister P.J. Patterson on March 30 last year.

Finances for the construction were secured through a loan of 54.5 million euros or US$71.3 million from the Belgian Government.

Eighty per cent of the loan, or 43.5 million euros is interest free, while the remainder – 11 million euros – was secured at a rate of 4.3 per cent.

Speaking with journalists after a tour of the centre by Robert Pickersgill, Minister of Housing, Water, Transport and Works, Mr. Van De Kelder said that, upon completion, a total of 640 buses per hour can be received in the centre, providing none stay more than three minutes each.

The lower level of the transport centre will be for buses travelling along Eastwood Park Road, which will go north and north west, and the upper bus deck is for buses going to the south and south east.

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