Observer senior reporter

Friday, November 06, 2020

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AFTER two weeks of continual rainfall and flooding, motorists and commuters are finding several roadways difficult to traverse.

Cabinet minister with responsibility for major roads Everald Warmington says given the unchecked rains, it will take some time to assess the full damage and implement a programme to rehabilitate them.

“The problem is that the rains are still coming and there is continuous flooding, so it is not possible to do a comprehensive survey of the damage. We are hoping that the rains will subside soon, so that we can get a fuller picture of the damage,” Warmington, who is now the minister without portfolio in the Ministry of Economic Growth and Job Creation in charge of roads, told Jamaica Observer's weekly Auto magazine yesterday.

“We know about the potholes and the state of the damaged roads, and we had started a survey to come up with a programme to deal with them, then the rains started again. And we can't start [to] plan a programme to deal with the problems until the rain stops, so we can get the full picture of the damage,” he stated.

Asked about the cost, Warmington noted that there was an original projection for about $1 billion to repair the potholes and cracks, but that is nothing at all compared to what is coming now.

“When we reach the subject of rehabilitating the roads, that's when you will see the real picture and the real cost. But right now we can't start assessing that until the rains stop, because we have a lot of water to deal with on the roads,” he explained.

The National Works Agency (NWA), in a release yesterday, said that it has mobilised several teams to clear roadways in St Catherine that were affected by rainfall Wednesday night.

A section of the Bog Walk Gorge, as well as a section of the Vanity Fair to Guys Hill roadway, which were affected by landslips and fallen boulders, were being cleared. Reports of blockages along the Bartons to Ginger Ridge roadway were also being investigated.

Meanwhile, in St Thomas, the water had receded from roadways that were affected by flooding, and teams were working to clear the affected roadways of silt and debris, yesterday.

The affected roads in St Thomas include: the Albion roadway: Morant Bay to Port Morant; Pleasant Hill to Hectors River; Bath to Hordley; and Hordley to Haining.

In Portland, landslips were being cleared at Alligator Church Bridge to Bellview and at Clear Spring, while a team had also been mobilised to remove fallen rocks at Blue Hole in the parish.

The NWA said it is advising motorists to exercise caution while using these roadways, and to be cognisant that surface conditions may have deteriorated during rainfall over the last couple weeks.


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