Jamaica's transport and works ministry has officially launched the Trelawny and St Ann parish sections of its J$36bn (US$423mn) national development infrastructure program (JDIP).
In Trelawney, work will begin in three weeks' time, while the St Ann leg should kick off between September and October, the government information service JIS reported.
The St Ann section, slated for completion in March 2011, involves upgrading eight highways and carrying out maintenance on an additional 34 roads.
Prime Minister Bruce Golding said authorities cannot rehabilitate all roads included in JDIP at once. The first roads to be upgraded will have to be selected carefully to allow for the proper allocation of resources, the prime minister added.
The Portland, St Thomas and St Elizabeth sections of JDIP have already begun.
The infrastructure program is being financed in partnership with the Chinese government through its Ex-Im Bank. Work will be carried out over the next five years by the China Harbour Engineering Company.
JDIP is expected to create some 6,000 new jobs in Jamaica.