Jamaica's transport and works ministry has officially launched the St Mary parish section of its J$36bn (US$422mn) national development infrastructure program (JDIP), government information service JIS reported.
The St Mary part of the program includes upgrades to the Derry-Hazard, Free Hill-Geddes Town, Grandy Hole-Rock River-Richmond roads. Geotechnical studies will be completed before the work is carried out.
Under the program, authorities will study the use of red mud as an alternative product for upgrading roads. This material has already been approved by Jamaica's scientific research council (SRC), but the material's environment impact has yet to be tested.
JDIP, considered the government's largest infrastructure improvement initiative, 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.
The program has already been launched in Portland, St Thomas, St Elizabeth and St Ann parishes.