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JIS News

Story Highlights

  • Effective Saturday, April 22, the National Works Agency (NWA) will be implementing major traffic and lane changes along a section of the Mandela Highway in order to facilitate road work associated with the expansion and upgrading project underway.
  • “We are going to be closing down a section of the eastbound carriageway between the Highway 2000 off-ramp and the Ferry Police Station to facilitate work on the new drainage features as well as to lift that section, which is actually lower than the westbound carriage way,” Manager for Communication & Customer Services at NWA, Stephen Shaw told JIS News.
  • Mr. Shaw added that the work on the new drainage features and the lifting of that section of the roadway is expected to be completed by the end of August.

Effective Saturday, April 22, the National Works Agency (NWA) will be implementing major traffic and lane changes along a section of the Mandela Highway in order to facilitate road work associated with the expansion and upgrading project underway.

“We are going to be closing down a section of the eastbound carriageway between the Highway 2000 off-ramp and the Ferry Police Station to facilitate work on the new drainage features as well as to lift that section, which is actually lower than the westbound carriage way,” Manager for Communication & Customer Services at NWA, Stephen Shaw told JIS News.

He explained that an additional two lanes have been created on the westbound side and come April 22, two of the lanes will be converted to eastbound carriage way and the other two to take westbound traffic.

“The two new lanes will be used to facilitate traffic heading towards Spanish Town while the older lanes will be used to take traffic into town (Corporate Area/Kingston) and this will obtain until we have completed the work on the Fresh River Bridge,” he informed.

Mr. Shaw added that the work on the new drainage features and the lifting of that section of the roadway is expected to be completed by the end of August.

“Lifting is being done as high as three feet above where the level is now, and at the end of the construction work along Mandela, the east and westbound carriageway will be on the same level,” he pointed out.

Following this work, he added, “we will be in a good position to put traffic on the Fresh River Bridge and the motoring public will be experiencing a bit of what the Mandela Highway will feel like at the end of the project.”

Giving an update on the overall project, Mr. Shaw said that a few weeks ago, a detour was implemented in the vicinity of the overpass being constructed, that is used to access businesses and the community of Ferry.

He noted that significant work has been done on the overpass, while the cement mixing pile is underway in addition to drainage works.

“We have completed the two newer lanes to facilitate westbound traffic when the detour is implemented and we have done some more filling. Also, there is another detour that we are going to be implementing subsequent to that on April 22, and this will be between the Ferry community and John Pringle,” Mr. Shaw informed.

In terms of traffic management, he told JIS NEWS that special arrangements have been made for persons heading to the Hydel Group of Schools, Tile City, IGL, the Ferry Police Station and the general community.

“We are going to be facilitating those motorists wishing to make a turn to access these areas, and that turn will be in the vicinity of the Ferry Police Station. For persons coming from the direction of Spanish Town, wishing to make a u-turn, that is going to be accommodated by the junction at John Pringle….so those areas, we have deemed to be safe enough for persons to carry out those types of maneuvers,” he pointed out.

“As it relates to pedestrians, for persons coming from the direction of Kingston, we have indicated that the area just outside of the police station is wide enough and will be so demarcated for the buses to stop,” Mr. Shaw informed.

He is appealing to the administration of the Hydel Group of Schools to work with the NWA and the contractors to ensure the safety of students.

“So, we are saying to residents and users of this roadway that the safest thing to do is work with us with the areas that we have demarcated and ensure your own safety,” he urged.

The Mandela Highway is one of the country’s major roadways, and while the ongoing work may result in delays, particularly during peak hours, motorists and pedestrians will experience significant improvement in travelling time when the project is completed in August 2018.

The current upgrading work focuses on 3.6 kilometres of roadway from the Six Miles overpass to the off/on ramps to the Highway 2000 East West Corridor.

Construction is being carried out by China Harbour Engineering Company (CHEC) under a US$64-million contract, part of the Major Infrastructure Development Programme (MIDP) being financed through a concessionary loan from the Government of China.

Upgrading of the roadway will increase the number of lanes from four to six.