JIS News

The St. Thomas Parish Council, in collaboration with the National Works Agency (NWA), has begun clearing an alternative route through Taris to Springbank in St. Thomas, so that residents and vehicular traffic can have access to Springbank.
Residents there are using a track to leave the community, after the road was destroyed, following landslides caused by recent heavy rains associated with Tropical Storm Gustav.
Mayor of Morant Bay, Hanif Brown, told JIS News, that a crew is working “assiduously”, to clear the road to allow vehicular traffic and pedestrians to ply that route.
“As I speak, they have their equipment in Taris, which is above Johnson Mountain, where there is a road that connects to Springbank via Johnson Mountain,” he said, noting that the roadway, which had been abandoned, was in poor condition.
He said the other entry to the Springbank community through Batchelors Hall was also impassable.
“A chunk of the road has disappeared, and it would take an enormous amount of capital to fix,” he said, adding that before the storm a team from the NWA had estimated that it would cost some $20 million to correct. “Now, I know, it would be far more than that,” he added.
Superintendent of Roads and Works at the St. Thomas Parish Council, Earl Dawkins, in an interview with JIS News, said work on the alternative route began on Tuesday (September 2), and should be completed within the next two weeks. He said work on the detour involves the massive clearing of landslides and trees, filling of gaps, and the reforming of the road. Several culverts will also be erected along the roadway, since water crosses the road in three areas, he said.