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Jamaica: Highway project resumes after extortion threat

Work on the Southern Coastal Highway Improvement Project (SCHIP) resumed yesterday after a five-day suspension triggered by an extortion threat made last Friday.

The threat, which was made anonymously via a handwritten note, called for biweekly payments to be made if the project were to continue. It triggered a lockdown of operations even though critical wall construction and revetment protection works were in progress along sections of the badly deteriorated roadway.

Work on the project, which is being carried out by China Harbour Engineering Company, resumed yesterday following a meeting the security forces had with the National Works Agency and other stakeholders.

At least one worker on the $1.5-billion Georgia to Cedar Valley St Thomas leg of the project believes the note was the work of troublemakers.

“We feel absolutely safe. We have no problem. I don’t see it as a threat. I feel like is some loggerhead persons who just trying to create mischief and who know nothing about what they are doing … ,” he told The Gleaner. “That’s how I looked at it. I didn’t see it as anything serious.”

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