JIS News

The latest statistics from the National Works Agency (NWA) reveal that 117 roads were reported blocked up to October 19, while some 32 were partially cleared to allow single lane access. Another 35 roads were reported flooded.
Speaking at a JIS ‘Think Tank’ on October 19, Chief Executive Officer of the NWA, Ivan Anderson said that the agency was working around the clock to clear blocked roads to at least facilitate single lane access at this time.
He informed that the parishes most affected by the effects of Hurricane Wilma included Kingston, St. Andrew, St.Catherine, St. Thomas, and Clarendon.
Roads, which were impassable and have been re-opened are the Gordon to Mavis Bank corridor as well as Irish Town in east rural St. Andrew, the Easington to Llandewy roadway in St. Thomas, and Scotts Pass in Clarendon.
“Persons using Mandela highway can expect lengthy delays as the roadway is still flooded. The Spanish Town bypass is still closed due to a collapsed culvert (pipe), as well as the Bog Walk Gorge,” Mr. Anderson said.
He noted that the culverts for the Spanish Town bypass have been ordered and as soon as the matter is addressed, the roadway would be re-opened. “Persons travelling to the north coast are advised to use the Sligoville corridor in St. Catherine,” Petra Keene Williams, Acting Communications Manager at the NWA said.
Commenting on Treasure Beach in St. Elizabeth, Miss Williams said that the community in the vicinity of the Police Station is marooned, as the roadway suffered damage and a pond overflowed. “The NWA crew is close by and is seeking to restore access to the community,” she said.
Turning to Portmore, Miss Williams said the causeway has been re-opened. “Thanks to the kind co-operation of the Port Authority of Jamaica, our team was able to pump water through a wall into the harbour,” she said.
Meanwhile, Mr. Anderson said that he has noticed a pattern developing primarily in the rural areas, where there is a lot of saturation, slippages and blockages. “It is not so much the arterial road network,” he pointed out.
The recovery plan for the NWA includes restoring single lane access within seven days to some communities; carrying out temporary reinstatement, that is, filling out scoured roadways (badly damaged roads with trenches and no asphalt) with shingle over the next three to four days.
Mr. Anderson said that once the rains abated, permanent reinstatement of roads, including localized drainage improvements, would commence and last over a two to three-month period.