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PM assures better road traffic management

BY BALFORD HENRY
Senior staff reporter
balfordh@jamaicaobserver.com

Friday, August 23, 2019

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Road traffic problems affecting mainly the Corporate Area should be brought under control by the first week of September, Prime Minister Andrew Holness has promised.

Holness made the assurance as he declared open the newly reconstructed George's River Bridge in St Andrew East Rural on Wednesday. He said that every effort is being made to free up traffic during the back-to-school period, and to keep the road works much less disruptive as the projects draw to a close.

“I have sent a note to the NWA (National Works Agency) to say no more new works, put them on hold a little bit: Let's finish up what we have and allow the back-to-school to happen seamlessly,” Holness said.

“After that, we will carry out the road works in a selected way and in a way that does not, in any way, impact the smooth and seamless flow of traffic in the city,” he added.

Motorists, commuters and business owners have been complaining about the constant and numerous roadblocks across the Corporate Area as the Government put the final touches to what is regarded as the most ambitious structural development project for the island's road network since Highway 2000.

“It goes to show you that that is a good problem to have; that you are a Government that is programming infrastructure work to improve the quality of life of the citizens,” Holness said of the road work.

Over the past two years, the Government has been expending billions of dollars to upgrade major roads in Kingston and St Andrew, in order to facilitate seamless travel by the commuting public and enhance connectivity to major markets and commercial centres.

These legacy projects, which are being implemented by the NWA, include the US$20-million Constant Spring Road Improvement work, the US$64-million Mandela Highway Realignment and Reconstruction Project, and the US$56-million Hagley Park Road Improvement project.

Last weekend, traffic restrictions were implemented at 10:00 pm Friday along a section of Constant Spring Road, as well as the corridor between Dunrobin Avenue and West King's House Road.

Communication and customer services manager at the NWA, Stephen Shaw said that during this operation, which will continue this weekend over a similar time period, motorists wishing to travel from the direction of Dunrobin Avenue towards West King's House Road (southbound lanes) will be re-routed. The northbound lanes that take traffic from the direction of Eastward Park Road to Dunrobin Avenue will accommodate vehicles heading towards Half-Way-Tree.

These changes are part of the NWA's thrust to wrap up significant aspects of the works along Constant Spring Road before the start of the new school year in September. The work that is being done include the removal of the present surface, base strengthening and the repaving of the corridor.

The NWA is cautioning motorists, where possible during the periods of the work, to use alternative routes. Motorists are also being urged to obey the posted warning signs and instructions of the flag persons.

The Constant Spring Road project is 75 per cent complete.


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