The new US$700 million North-South link of Highway 2000 has been constructed in a bid to reduce travel times between Jamaica’s north and south coasts.
Travel time from Kingston to the north coast town of Ocho Rios, which is very popular with tourists, will be approximately 30 minutes shorter.
The new highway should also help to reduce the number of crashes as it is built to modern standards and is safer than the existing route, with higher levels of protection for road users.
In addition, the new highway means that visitors to Jamaica have more options in terms of which airport they use.
Tourists staying in Ocho Rios now have the option of landing in Montego Bay’s Sangster International Airport, or capital Kingston’s Norman Manley International airport, and having the same travel time to their resorts.
This is expected to further drive the tourist industry and help boost Jamaica’s economy.
Cruise ship passengers arriving in the Ocho Rios port will also be able to easily schedule visits to the historic Spanish Town and Kingston.
The new North-South link of Highway 2000 is also expected to drive additional tourism developments. Plans are already in place for the construction of three hotels with nearly 2,400 rooms in the Mammee Bay area, as well as nearly 600 housing units along the highway corridor. This is a key issue for Jamaica as the country’s economy is heavily reliant on the tourism trade.
The highway was constructed by the Chinese contractor China Harbour Engineering Company (CHEC) and is a four-to-six lane, 66km motorway. The fact that the new motorway was built by a Chinese contractor is of note as this is the first major route constructed by a Chinese firm in Jamaica.