Municipal corporation addresses Manchester drainage

Regional

Municipal corporation addresses Manchester drainage

...steps up hurricane prep

BY KASEY WILLIAMS
Observer writer
editorial@jamaicaobserver.com

Wednesday, June 24, 2020

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MANDEVILLE, Manchester — For years, business operators, motorists and pedestrians have been inconvenienced whenever there is a downpour of rain on Villa Road in Mandeville, due to flooding caused by inadequate drainage.

The Manchester Municipal Corporation answered calls for the issue to be addressed, with work set to start on June 28 for the drilling and construction of a soakaway.

An employee of a restaurant in the area, who spoke to the Jamaica Observer on condition of anonymity, is eagerly awaiting the completion of the project.

“It is a good idea, because we have been having this problem since we have been here. We have been here over a year now, so when it rains, it is impossible for us to pass, whether by vehicle or by foot,” said the employee.

“It pains my heart to see when the schoolchildren pass during the days and they have to be walking in the dirty water, and I have children. It [the construction] is a good idea, even though it will affect our business. It is well needed, especially in this rainy season,” she added.

Mayor of Mandeville Donovan Mitchell told the Observer that the work is critical in mitigating flooding, especially now in the hurricane season, which runs from June 1 to November 30.

“We are in the hurricane season. We are 85 per cent prepared. We have stocks in place, if there is a hurricane… We have been in contact with the other agencies, in terms of the National Works Agency (NWA), the Jamaica Public Service company, and others,” he said.

The owner of a warehouse on Villa Road said he has been severely affected by flooding.

“Two years ago, the water came off the road and onto my property and it was very high. Right where you see that blue mark is how high it was,” he said.

Councillor Jones Oliphant (People's National Party, Mandeville Division) said the four-week project is estimated to cost $3 million.

“As a council we have taken this decision that we will do some drilling in the middle of the road, that will take off some of the water from ponding there. So it is estimated that at about 60 feet below the earth, it would be able to [soak away] all the water that is on the road,” said Oliphant.

A section of Villa Road will be closed to vehicular traffic. Motorists travelling from deCarteret Road, Levy Lane, and Wesley Road can access businesses up to the Jamaica Public Service building and Steak House, beyond which they will not be able to proceed. While motorists entering from Main Street will be able to access businesses up to the Retirement Home but must exit on to Main Street.

Similar work was done on Ward Avenue in Mandeville, which was also prone to flooding for many years.

“This is one system which we use for the rest of the areas where ponding is taking place. Where serious flooding is taking place, we are thinking of drilling in these areas, so it can take off the water,” Oliphant said.

“The work on Ward Avenue was successful, but we have not completed the project. We are hoping to complete it by the end of the year,” he added.

Other areas being considered for similar work to be done to alleviate flooding are on deCarteret Road in the vicinity of Belair High School and Wiles Corner, below Northern Caribbean University.


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