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Traffic changes on Mandela Highway Saturday

Friday, January 11, 2019

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ST CATHERINE, Jamaica — The National Works Agency (NWA) is set to switch traffic travelling along the Mandela Highway towards Spanish Town to the newly constructed westbound carriageway.

The change will be effected tomorrow 6:00 am, the agency said in a release this afternoon.

Manager, communication and customer services at the NWA, Stephen Shaw explained that the shifting of the westbound traffic is to create work space for the installation of a dedicated right turning lane on to Tom Cringle Drive.

He said the traffic switch is permanent and will subsequently allow for the completion of works to raise the remaining section of the existing westbound lanes between Six Miles and Tom Cringle Drive.

He explained that motorists will enter the new carriageway using two lanes just after crossing the temporary Bailey Bridge at Six Miles. On reaching Tom Cringle Drive, they will have the use of three lanes and will return to two lanes when exiting the new roadway in the vicinity of the East/West Highway entrance.

Shaw said the necessary facilities will be put in place, ahead of the change, to ensure the safety of motorists and pedestrians who will now use the widened thoroughfare.

Two locations along the innermost lane (the lane closest to the concrete median), one in close proximity to the traffic lights at Tom Cringle Drive and at the other at Fresh River Bridge, will serve as dedicated drop off areas for vehicles carrying passengers wanting to access the Ferry community.

The agency said that drop-off points will be properly demarcated and secured with temporary barriers.

It added that in the upcoming days it will install a temporary pedestrian light at the Fresh River Bridge drop-off point to assist persons to cross the eastbound carriageway safely where a similar area dedicated to the setting down of passengers will be created.

The eastbound carriageway will continue to operate as is, accommodating two lanes of traffic, between the East/West Highway off ramp and the Six Miles overpass.

The westbound carriageway, to be put into service tomorrow morning, will be appropriately marked along the entire length of the new roadway.

The NWA is also discouraging motorists from attempting to use the Ramp or overpass bridge located along the carriageway and continues to advise that the Mandela Highway is still an active construction zone and use of some areas could be restricted at any time.

The Mandela Highway reconstruction project is said to be currently 88 per cent complete.

The project is one of seven legacy projects being implemented under the government's Major Infrastructure Development Programme (MIDP) and is valued at some $8 billion Jamaican dollars.

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