JIS News

The National Works Agency (NWA) has announced that of the 1,249 reports of blocked roads, over 1,040 have been successfully cleared.
“We are in the high nineties in terms of the percentage of clearance,” Vando Palmer, Communications and Customer Relations Manager told the media at a post-Hurricane weekly press conference at the offices of the Ministry of Land and Environment on September 24.
A breakdown of the report indicates that 99 per cent of the A roads, which are the main arterial roadways that cover the country, are now cleared, with 93 per cent of the B roads cleared, and 73 per cent of the C roads cleared.
Mr. Palmer also mentioned that the NWA was given the responsibility to clear all roads, inclusive of roads under the care of parish councils. As far as parish council roads are concerned, the NWA has cleared over 75 per cent of them.
“A lot of the parish councils have cleared some of the roads themselves,” he said.
However, Mr. Palmer acknowledged that some challenges remained in clearing the roads. Citing the road leading from Gordon Town to Irish Town to Newcastle, he pointed out that with the hilly terrain, coupled with the narrow and winding characteristics of the road, it posed serious challenges to be cleared.
“There has been a lot of land slippage and in some instances, breakaways took place,” Mr. Palmer explained. He added that as the road was cleared, there was land slippage and this caused the road to be blocked, and hence it had to be cleared again.
“We have four pieces of machinery and five trucks trying to speed up the operation, but even with that big effort, the challenge remains,” he added.
Nevertheless, Mr. Palmer was adamant that the NWA would not abandon the task until it was completely satisfied that the road was safe for motorists to use.Minister of Land and Environment, Dean Peart, commended the NWA for performing “creditably” in the aftermath of Hurricane Ivan.
“Most areas are now accessible,” the Minister pointed out, adding that within two to three days after the hurricane, roads were cleared.

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