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JUTC sets up temporary terminus

BY BALFORD HENRY
Observer senior reporter
balfordh@jamaicaobserver.com

Friday, April 26, 2019

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STATE-RUN Jamaica Urban Transit Company (JUTC) says it has located a plot of land in Above Rocks, St Catherine, where its buses will now turn around following the breakaway on a section of the main road.

The bus company says the new turnaround should ameliorate some of the inconvenience and frustrations being experienced by commuters in that community, following last week's breakaway.

JUTC Corporate Communications Manager Cecil Thoms says a team comprising the bus company's Service Planning, Accident and Training departments, as well as the Above Rocks Police and members of the community, went in search of a more appropriate point for the turnaround of buses.

The team settled on a plot of land about 200 metres from the terminus at St Mary's College, which is before the breakaway just above Parks Road. The owner of the property was contacted and permission was granted.

Last week, the JUTC was forced to shorten route 53 at Parks Road, which is a mile-and-half from the terminus. Route 53 plies Half-Way-Tree, Constant Spring, Stony Hill and Above Rocks.

The breakaway is in the vicinity of the Above Rocks Police Station, which is located between the terminal point and the turnaround point for buses.

Thoms says that the weight and vibration of the bus, when passing the area, could contribute to the further collapsing of the road. He says the safety of commuters is paramount, and so buses that ply the route will not cross the breakaway.

“Our buses will now turn around at Parks Road, which is approximately a mile-and-a-half from the terminus, and will undoubtedly impact a significant number of passengers, but it's best to be safe than sorry,” said Thoms.

He said that the truncation of the route is likely to be in place until the road is fixed, and that the bus company is in touch with stakeholders on that issue.

In a release on the situation, National Water Agency (NWA) Communication and Customer Services Manager Stephen Shaw said that the agency was moving to secure sections of the main road where the road embankment had broken away, severely undermining the roadway.

He said, for now, only small vehicles can safely use the roadway into Above Rocks and that large vehicles should not attempt to traverse the corridor, under any circumstance.

Shaw pointed out that there is no alternative route.

The NWA said that following heavy rainfall in the area, the material along some sections of the roadway washed out when the embankment failed, and that the roadway could be compromised even further should it rain again.

The agency is urging motorists, who are still permitted to use the area with caution, to obey the posted warning signs.

The NWA also said that it is imploring persons not to remove impediments placed along the roadway to prevent motorists from using the affected section of roadway.


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