The Government has been forced to cough up an additional US$133.9 million to cover the increased scope of the work on the ongoing Southern Coastal Highway Improvement Project.
The highway, covering three tranches and 15 packages, is to run from Harbour View in St Andrew to Port Antonio, Portland.
Minister without Portfolio in the Ministry of Economic Growth and Job Creation, Everald Warmington, made the announcement of the increased cost on Wednesday during his contribution to the 2021-2022 Sectoral Presentation in the House of Representatives.
Warmington explained that under the contracting process, the main contractor, China Harbour Engineering, would have invited tenders for the works from qualified local contractors. He said awards were made on a competitive basis, with the lowest bids being accepted in each case.
However, Warmington disclosed that an analysis of the bids showed that they all exceeded the engineer’s estimates which would have been tied to the original sums in the agreements between the Jamaican Government and China Exim Bank.