The Inter-American Development Bank today announced the approval of a $24.5 million loan to Jamaica to improve road maintenance through a comprehensive modernization program that will include the adoption of mechanisms to ensure sustainable funding, high-quality administration, and a new model for contracting out road repairs.
The IDB resources will be used to finance establishment of a method for road maintenance through a computerized planning tool, the Routine Maintenance Management System (RMMS), which will be used for evaluation, reporting and monitoring of the quality of maintenance works.
Cost-effective procedures will be promoted by contracting out road maintenance to the private sector under performance-based, lump-sum payment procedures.
The newly created National Works Agency* will be strengthened in its capacity for planning, programming and execution and supervision of works and services.
The NWA will be assisted in incorporating environmental and social criteria in its operations in the areas of setting priorities and roadwork.
A special fund will be established to ensure the availability of resources for road maintenance on a sustainable basis.
The program is expected to result in reduced vehicle operating costs, reduced accidents and travel time, greater competition among transport firms, lower prices, and, ultimately, new investments in areas such as tourism and export agriculture.
The total cost of the program is $35 million. The IDB loan is for a 20-year term, with a four-year grace period, at the variable annual interest rate, now 6.97 percent. Local counterpart funds total $10.5 million.
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