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China Harbour Cops 2014 JIE Project of the Year Award
December 30, 2014

The successful completion of the first leg (Mount Rosser Bypass) of the North South Highway landed China Harbour Engineering Company (CHEC) Americas with the prestigious 2014 Jamaica Institution of Engineers (JIE) Award. This is the second consecutive year that the company has been chosen as the JIE’s top recipient.

Fondly referred to by the Prime Minister, the Hon. Portia Simpson Miller, as the “Emancipendence” gift to Jamaica, the project was chosen by the JIE because of the significant engineering feats that were overcome when compared to the other two entrants, namely, the Lasco Manufacturing Expansion Project and the Jamaica Public Service (JPS) Maggotty Hydro Power Plant 6.4W Project. Last year the company was also selected as the winner of the award for its work on the Westmoreland Bridge connecting the towns of Richmond, Highgate and others to the Junction Road in Georgia, St Mary.

All sections of the Mount Rosser Bypass had been completed with the exception of 5km, an area where work had been suspended by the previous contractor, due to poor geological conditions and unstable slopes. This landscape is composed of a noticeable transition of three different types of unstable embankment material including shale, limestone and hard igneous rock. These are all present within short distances of approximately 1km.  Widespread geotechnical studies and redesign work was done in order to find a feasible solution for this problematic section of the highway. Drainage systems and additional safety features were also included in the new design work.

Major construction works included: 5 Km of subgrade and pavement works,  1 Km of landslide treatment, the construction of a 3 Km climbing lane, slope protection, the construction of three box culverts, nine new drainage crossings and the implementation of surface drainage. This is the first time that Asian construction techniques including top to bottom pile wall construction, anchor rod/cable beam frames and gravity retaining walls are being used in any major project of this kind in Jamaica. 

The $US700 million North South Highway Project is the result of an agreement between the Government of Jamaica (GOJ) and China Harbour Engineering Company (CHEC) Americas-Division and was negotiated on a Build-Operate-and-Transfer (BOT) model.  The key features of the highway include: four lanes with an average speed limit of 80km per hour, a dual carriageway, as well as a toll plaza and service area. Lands along the highway are being considered for housing and tourism.

CHEC Americas as the main contractor and the Jamaica North South Highway Company Ltd. (JNSHCL) as the developer, were able to successfully tackle the challenges of constructing the Mount Rosser Bypass under the supervision of The Ministry of Transport, Works and Housing and the National Road Operating and Constructing Company Limited (NROCC).

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