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UDC to Carry Out Crucial Repairs to Montego Bay Waterfront Infrastructure

As Climate Change makes its mark along the island’s coastline, the Urban Development Corporation (UDC), has secured USD$600,000 in part funding from the KfW Development Bank through the Caribbean Community Climate Change Centre (CCCCC) to carry out rehabilitative works to protective infrastructure along sections of the Montego Bay Waterfront in St. James. In addition to the rehabilitation of the groynes, the project also seeks to explore eco-system based adaptation interventions to complement the repair works.

The project, launched on Friday May 12 at the Sunscape Resort, Montego Bay will see repairs effected to the groynes protecting the Closed Harbour (popularly known as Dump Up) , AquaSol and Gun Point Beaches over a 16 months period through a contractor selected by CCCCC and assisted by the UDC. The groynes, built perpendicular to the shoreline to reduce longshore drift and trap sediments, were constructed in the 1970’s during the UDC’s development works within the city and have deteriorated significantly, resulting in the loss of  an estimated 7.7 acres of beach over the past 25 years.

Addressing the launch of the project, Dr the Hon. Horace Chang, Minister without Portfolio in the Ministry of Economic Growth and Job Creation indicated that the entire Montego Bay waterfront, from the Freeport to the beach zone where the rehabilitation will take place, has been earmarked for “environmentally friendly development that can become a major attraction for the entire region.” He emphasised that the project was a necessary precursor to such major development in the western city. 

While the overall cost to rehabilitate all of the groynes is an estimated US $3M, this grant will facilitate the first phase of the project which targets the Closed Harbour Beach groynes.

This forms one of four projects across the island to have been selected for funding by CCCCC with its primary thrust being to foster climate change resilience in the Caribbean region. Also speaking at the launch Dr. Damian Graham, UDC General Manager pointed out that the project was critical to the protection of the Montego Bay shoreline, “Not just to address erosion but also to minimize the impact from coastal flooding that can and will happen as we have more erratic behaviours in Mother Nature.”

The announcement comes on the heels of recent engagement with Montego Bay stakeholders by the UDC, on plans to develop a cutting edge beach park at Closed Harbour Beach. “The repair of the groynes is paramount to the sustainability of a world class multi-zoned public space which we hope to establish shortly,” Dr. Graham said.

The undertaking is aligned with the vision of Montego Bay becoming a leading city in the Western Hemisphere by minimizing physical and social blight, improving economic and social conditions and further reflects the UDC’s commitment to being a catalyst for sustainable development in Montego Bay and its other designated areas.

For further information, please contact
The Corporate Relations and Marketing Department
Urban Development Corporation
12 Ocean Boulevard
Kingston, Jamaica
Tel: (876) 922-8310-4
May 17, 2017