Still no word on reopening of University Road

Observer staff reporter

Tuesday, July 17, 2018

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COMMUTERS now being inconvenienced due to a collapsed section of University Road in August Town, St Andrew, will have to hold out a while longer as the National Works Agency (NWA) cannot say when the road will be fixed.

Last month, NWA Senior Communications Officer Ramona Lawson told the Jamaica Observer that the agency was treating the replacement of the concrete pipe culvert and the reinstatement of the road as emergency repairs, following the May 8 failure due to heavy rains.

When contacted yesterday, she told the Observer that a submission for $60 million in funding is being processed for the road repair.

Last month, motorists and pedestrians complained that the closure of a section of the road, which connects August Town and Papine, is “burdensome”.

The residents also complained that since the section of the road collapsed, they have been suffering, adding that they now have walk through The University Of the West Indies (UWI), Mona campus, to access their communities.

When the Observer visited the area earlier this month, a number of motorists were unaware of the road closure. Garnet Bailey, who was heading to Tavern, a neighbouring community, complained about lack of signage.

Bailey said there should be signs at the entrance to indicate to motorists that the road is closed. He said had there been a clearly visible sign, he would not have entered the thoroughfare.

Another motorist, who said she was trying to get to the University Hospital of the West Indies from August Town Road, also had to find another route.

For sixty-eight-year-old Lurline Wright, the road closure has been burning holes into the pockets of commuters.

“We want the road to go to Papine, the 77 or the 78 buses used to go up there and I use to pay $40 on the bus. Now I have to pay $200 and it take up a lot of your time because you have to go all the way around,” Wright explained.

According to another pedestrian, who spoke on condition of anonymity: “You see like how the road close now, them people here have to a go round... and you see on weekend when they lock campus, 'cause some of them have to go through campus... them end up a go back a Papine, then go Mona Road and come round.”

“All the little pickney them have to walk all the way around. Them a suffer man; them a feel it because nothing not coming here so. The bus comes up there so and turn [back]. More time mi see all some little old people in the night here so saying that they waiting on bus because them use to the bus, and we have to tell them that the road block, enuh,” the pedestrian said, as he pointed towards UWI's back gate.

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