New traffic changes for Mandela Highway this weekend

Friday, October 19, 2018

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THE National Works Agency (NWA) says another phase of traffic changes is to be implemented along the Mandela Highway in St Andrew, starting tomorrow.

“The change which will last for a minimum of eight weeks will affect westbound traffic (travelling towards Spanish Town). The change will impact the section of the corridor in the vicinity of the Six Miles overpass,” the NWA said in a release.

Stephen Shaw, the NWA's manager for communication and customer services, said that westbound traffic will be detoured onto a bailey bridge that has been installed in the vicinity of the overpass.

“Movement along the Mandela, where it intersects Spanish Town Road and Washington Boulevard will be controlled by a newly installed, temporary traffic signal,” said Shaw.

He added that vehicles exiting Washington Boulevard will keep to the right to pass through the bailey bridge onto a newly constructed section of roadway, then continue onto the Mandela Highway in the vicinity of Tom Cringle Drive. The same will obtain for vehicles exiting Spanish Town Road. Both flows will be regulated by traffic signals.

Shaw explained that these changes are to facilitate the construction of the last major structure under the Mandela Highway improvement works.

The old metal structure over the Duhaney River is to be replaced by a concrete box culvert. The work will be done in two phases in order to all the continuous usage of the road. The highway is currently being improved at a cost of US $65 million as part of the Major Infrastructure Development Programme (MIDP).

In the meantime, the NWA has advised motorists to exercise due care in travelling on the Mandela Highway, especially during the nights, as several of the new street lamps are now non-functional following the theft of circuit breakers.

The new lamps were wired to use critical components that assist in minimising damage due to power surges, but Shaw said having noticed that a number of the lamps were inoperable, a detailed check was done that revealed that the breakers had been stolen.

He said since the erection of the street lamps, thieves have been preying on the system. Wires, he said, were also recently cut and pulled from beneath the road, causing the system to be inoperable. Temporary street lamps have also been stolen along the Mandela Highway, said Shaw.

In the meantime, the Jamaica Public Service Company is now working to have street lamps back in operation.

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