JIS News

More than 70 roads across Jamaica remain impassable after Tropical Storm Nicole doused the island this week, the National Works Agency (NWA) has reported.
At a press conference held at the Ministry of Transport and Works in Kingston, on (October 1), Communication and Customer Services Manager at the NWA, Stephen Shaw, noted that 53 of these roads are critical corridors (a main road linking several communities).
He said that some communities have been cut off, and the NWA is working to restore access to those areas, as soon a possible.
The Bog Walk Gorge remains impassable, and Mr. Shaw said preliminary checks have shown that, in some sections, there is more than three feet of sand and silt on the roadway.
He said that there are fallen rocks and boulders on the roads and some sections have been washed out.
“We will have to carry in new material to do some work. We are not able to say, at this time, when we will be able to give the public access to the roadway, but we are going to be pursuing it in the same way we did the situation out at Harbour View,” he explained, in reference to the restoration of the broken Dry River ford.
Mr. Shaw also reported that the NWA is actively looking at the option of placing a Bailey bridge at Dover Castle, St. Catherine, as one that was there has been washed away. He added that in St. Andrew, the Constitutional Hill roadway is also impassable, marooning residents served by that corridor.
Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the NWA, Patrick Wong, said the Mandela Highway in St. Catherine, which was inundated during the rains, “can no longer stay the way it is”, and the NWA is working on designs to raise the road. He said the work is expected to begin next year.
Mr. Wong also pointed out that 60 per cent of the roads which have been damaged were already scheduled for rehabilitation, under the Government’s $36 billion Jamaica Development Infrastructure Programme (JDIP).

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