NWA says burnt-out culverts costing agency millions of dollars

NWA says burnt-out culverts costing agency millions of dollars

Tuesday, February 18, 2020

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THE National Works Agency (NWA) says the destructive practice of persons incinerating garbage in roadside drainage features such as catch basins is costing the agency millions of dollars in repairs annually, as well as delaying the completion of some major projects.

The agency said culverts in Dover district – along a section of the north coast highway – and, Georgia, along the Junction Road in St Mary, are among the affected. In both cases, it said, there is evidence to suggest that the existing plastic culverts were either deliberately or inadvertently burnt out as a result of fires.

“Along the Junction Road, over 110 metres of newly laid five-foot, high-density polyethylene pipes were damaged by a blaze, near Georgia, while the NWA is now seeking to replace some 16 metres of storm water culvert in Dover. The pipes are critical components of the drainage systems in these areas,” said the agency.

NWA Communication and Customer Services Manager Stephen Shaw said compromised or missing culverts pose great risks to unsuspecting motorists, as the affected roadway is in effect “floating due to the absence of the requisite support material beneath it”.

He added that when culverts go missing beneath roadways this causes the fill material, such as crushed stone and gravel, to become saturated over time, eventually causing the roadway to fall or cave in.

Said the NWA: “Culverts fabricated from any type of plastic material will burn slowly, without any indication, and is usually only discovered when the road shows signs of failure. Out of great concern for public safety, the NWA is asking persons to desist from disposing and burning garbage in open drains.”

It said that altogether the culvert replacement work at both Georgia and Dover in St Mary is estimated to cost close to $54 million, while work at Dover is expected to commence in a week and will necessitate traffic restrictions or road closure.

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