Construction has started on a $3.7 million project to upgrade the cruise facilities in Ocho Rios, Jamaica. The work will upgrade the cruise ship terminal and the parking area. New kiosks will be installed for use by a rotating group of craft vendors.
The project also includes a major reconstruction of Turtle River Road between the pier and Main Street, adding a pedestrian-only section and landscaping the entire road. The first phase is expected to be completed by the end of February.
Dr. Wykeham McNeill, the minister of tourism and entertainment, recently toured the project and addressed concerns raised by business people and tour operators about the timing of the project during the peak winter tourist season. McNeill said he will work to make sure there is a minimum of interruption and that the project will be completed in timely fashion.
“We are confident that we are on the right track and when it is finished, it will be something everyone will be proud of and it is going to be a huge enhancement for Ocho Rios,” he said. “We are putting up a lot of signage so that visitors coming off the ships do not feel that they are coming on to a construction pier. We will put in place signs that will say we are doing major work to make Ocho Rios even better.”
The next phase will upgrade the main street and promenade from the cruise ship pier to the Ocean Village car park. The project is being funded by the Tourism Enhancement Fund and the Port Authority of Jamaica. Partners are the Ministry of Tourism and Entertainment, the Ministry of Transport, Works and Housing, and the Urban Development Corporation.
By Theresa Norton Maesk, Travel Pulse
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