JIS News

The National Works Agency (NWA) has completed designs for the rehabilitation of two fordings situated at Eleven Miles, St. Thomas, which were eroded due to heavy rainfall caused by Hurricane Ivan.
State Minister in the Ministry of Transport and Works, Dr. Fenton Ferguson, made the announcement while responding to concerns raised by residents about the poor condition of the fordings at a hurricane assessment forum held on November 3 at the Anglican Church Hall in Morant Bay.
The aim of the forum was to hear the concerns of citizens and share information about the damage assessment and action being pursued towards the rehabilitation process. Attending the meeting, organised by the Social Development Commission (SDC), were representatives of government agencies and community leaders.
The State Minister informed that funding for the repair of the fordings was expected to come from the post-Ivan rehabilitation programme.
Dr. Ferguson, who is also Member of Parliament for Eastern St. Thomas, said that he was also concerned about the condition of the fordings. He noted that measures have been put in place to effect temporary repairs, but the material would wash away whenever it rained.
“Even now as you see it, they are putting on shingles on a daily basis but by afternoon they are washed out. It’s like a feeding tree for contractors”.
Meanwhile, Dr. Ferguson said that estimates have been completed for additional reinforcement work along the seashore of the Rozelle main road to “bring it back to its permanent state.”
According to him, there were still damaged roads in the rural communities and some had worsened since the passage of Hurricane Ivan. “We have a massive breakaway in the Trinityville area that still pose a problem in terms of safety,” he said, adding that similar breakaways also existed in the Spring Bank, Old Pera and Seaforth districts.
Regarding to the construction of a permanent bridge at the Yallahs Fording, Dr. Ferguson said that the design of the bridge was being reviewed and technicians were looking at the possibility of having a “shorter span bridge.” He said the span of the bridge that was previously designed was 182 metres, which would have made it the longest bridge in the country.
The permanent bridge, which is to replace the temporary one at the Yallahs fording, is expected to cost some $470 million and be completed by 2006, the State Minister said.
During the meeting, Dr. Ferguson heard reports from community leaders on the relief efforts being undertaken and hurricane related problems existing in their communities. Presentations were also made by Jamaica Public Service Company representative, David Archer; Deputy Superintendent of the St. Thomas Fire Department, Louiston Gooden; Jamaica Red Cross representative, Joan Cooper; Deputy Chief Public Health Inspector at the St. Thomas Public Health Department, Pauline Ellington and Luther Cummings, Regional Manager, SDC.

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