Old Harbour Chamber of Commerce Applauds Highway 2000
The Old Harbour Chamber of Commerce has applauded the decision by TransJamaican Highway to open the eastbound off-ramp exit at Old Harbour. The move, which is likely to take effect by the end of the year, will enable commuters from May Pen to exit onto South Street, Old Harbour instead of Spanish Town, 12 miles farther eastward of this south west coastal town.
“At least the people can say the Old Harbour Chamber of Commerce had an input in achieving something,” Adrian Samuda, interim president of the Old Harbour Chamber of Commerce, told Old Harbour News. “We appreciate the fact that TransJamaican Highway were willing to listen… And we had an open dialogue after expressing the significance of opening up that specific area of the highway to businesses and residents.”
The area of concern had an original exit as part of the then Old Harbour Bypass before it was morphed into a larger development plan. Under the expanded Highway 2000 project the off-ramp was closed. But as one of the fastest growing towns in Jamaica the need to reopen this section was of absolute necessity as the years go by.
“We pointed out the negative impact it has on our businesses and profitability. Opening this exit I am anticipating an increase in revenue for businesses in Old Harbour. It should also enable greater satisfaction for customers and suppliers who intent on doing business in Old Harbour,” Samuda said. During a recent media briefing at its Portmore Toll Plaza office, Guillaume Allain, managing director of TransJamaican High, said the development will create a complete interchange at Old Harbour".
“One of our main objectives as the developer of Highway 2000 East-West, is to identify the needs of customers and find ways to meet them as best as possible. The decision to open an eastbound off ramp at Old Harbour was taken in order to allow users of the highway to access the town when coming from May Pen. Our customers understand and enjoy the benefits of the highway, and we have gotten quite a few indications that they are really looking forward to being able to travel from May Pen on Highway 2000 East-West to get to a destination in Old Harbour,” Allain said in a respond via email to Old Harbour News.
“We believe this will also help to enhance the economy of the town of Old Harbour, particularly since a request for the eastbound off ramp has come from the Old Harbour Chamber of Commerce. “The opening of the eastbound off ramp will come with a few changes to the speed limit in the area. As motorists approach the area of the ramp, they will be permitted to travel at a maximum speed of 80 kilometres per hour. Persons using the ramp itself will be limited to a speed of 50 kilometres per hour.
“We are working to complete the off ramp before the end of 2015, as we truly look forward to providing our customers with the ability to use Highway 2000 East-West to move to and from all their destinations in Old Harbour in both directions.” In welcoming the decision, the New Harbour Village II Citizens’ Association, one of the lobby groups, commended the chamber of commerce for being relentless towards a cause that affects everyone who uses that part of the highway which was renamed the PJ Patterson Highway earlier this year.
“The New Harbour Village II Citizens' Association (NHVII CA) would like to congratulate the Old Harbour Chamber of Commerce for their efforts in lobbying TransJamaica Highway for the decision to open the east-bound off-exit ramp into Old Harbour from May Pen, Clarendon. “The opening of the off-ramp into Old Harbour will facilitate easier access for new and existing customers to businesses in the area and expose Old Harbour to a new client base.
“The off-ramp opening will also give residents of New Harbour Villages I, II and II as well as Old Harbour Bay, many of whom work in May Pen, a more convenient and hassle-free route when getting home and will eventually help with easing the traffic congestion within the town.
“This announcement is truly a welcomed one and the NHVII CA would like to encourage the chamber of commerce to continue in its charge to lobby the government and other stakeholders for a better business environment within Old Harbour,” said NHVII CA Chairman Christopher Phillips.