Contracts to be awarded under SPARK programme by Sept 30, says PM Loop Jamaica

The content originally appeared on: Jamaica News Loop News

The evaluation of bids and the award of contracts under the Government’s $40-billion Shared Prosperity Through Accelerated Improvement (SPARK) programme is expected to be completed by September 30.

The update was provided on Tuesday by Prime Minister Andrew Holness in a ministerial statement in the House of Representatives.

The prime minister shared that the pre-qualification documents became available for download on April 22, and the tender period will close this Friday, May 24.

He explained that the award will be done in four packages of approximately equal value:

Package 1 – Kingston, St Andrew, St ThomasPackage 2 – St Catherine, ClarendonPackage 3 – Manchester, St Elizabeth, Westmoreland, HanoverPackage 4 – St James, Trelawny, St Ann, St Mary, Portland

A total of 10 construction companies (six local and four international) participated in the pre-bid meeting for pre-qualification.

“It is to be noted that since the pre-bid meeting was not compulsory, it is possible that additional companies will submit proposals by the closing date,” Holness said.

He said, too, that evaluation will be done by May 31 to select prequalified bidders based on established criteria, including capacity and work experience.

Pre-qualified bidders will be invited to submit bid proposals by August 15.

The prime minister told the House that based on the consultations held to date, roughly 70 roads identified in consultations have been referred to the National Works Agency (NWA) to be scoped and costed.

“The consultations have been well attended with constituents providing valuable input on local/community road infrastructure to be rehabilitated. We have received overwhelmingly positive feedback from residents, local businesses, and stakeholders, who have expressed their appreciation for involving them in the decision-making process and addressing their concerns directly,” Holness shared.

Stressing the importance of citizen participation, the prime minister said, to date, community consultations to determine the roads to be targeted within constituencies have been held in Kingston and St Andrew, St Catherine, Clarendon, and St Elizabeth, totalling nine constituencies.

The expectation is that meetings will be held in at least nine constituencies per week.

The SPARK programme will be implemented over two years.

The works will include:

pavement resurfacing/rehabilitationsidewalk rehabilitationdrainage improvementwaterline improvementsretaining wall constructionintersection improvement at strategic locations.

For the main roads under the NWA, in addition to the above, the following will also be included:

installation of fibre optic ductsretaining wall construction along selected corridorsimprovement of parking areas and bus stops.

The first allocation under the programme is a total of $10 billion. Of this figure, each constituency will be allocated approximately $150 million.

As roadway lengths are verified, a further allocation will be made based on the ratio of the kilometres of roads in the constituency relative to the national figure.

“This will lead to a more equitable distribution across the island, taking into consideration that some constituencies have more roads than others,” the prime minister explained.

He said the municipal corporations, through the Local Government Ministry, are now mapping all their roads. The process is 62 per cent complete.

Holness said the local roads component of the SPARK programme will be designed to have an engineering lifespan depending on location, environmental conditions and usage, of between seven to 15 years.

“For these SPARK roads and all other roads to be repaired going forward, we will be able to align engineering data with financial allocations to ensure that our roadways remain is a state of good repair,” he said.