'Unacceptable and irresponsible'

'Unacceptable and irresponsible'

PNP caretaker Alexis says stalled Junction roadwork posing danger to public

Monday, January 20, 2020

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People's National Party caretaker for St Mary South Eastern, Dr Shane Alexis says activities along the Junction main road in St Mary are posing “a clear and present danger” to the public.

Alexis made the statement in a news release last week, noting that rehabilitation work last Tuesday triggered a major landslide which covered a motor vehicle transporting passengers.

Alexis also alleged that work on the winding thoroughfare has also resulted in flooding in the vicinity of Broadgate and has increased inconvenience and uncertainty for its users.

“Patients and members of staff from the Annotto Bay Hospital were also impacted due to the blockage and fear of using the unsafe passage. The major road improvement announced in September of 2017 by Prime Minister Andrew Holness has stalled,” Alexis noted.

The medical doctor said while the community welcomes the attempts to improve and develop the corridor for the benefit of all, the dangers and potential loss of life that the incomplete project now poses are “unacceptable and are irresponsible”.

Alexis said, as a result the parliamentary Opposition will be tabling several questions of Minister of Transport and Mining Robert Montague.

See the questions below:

1. Has the project as it was announced been completed and if not what is the time frame for its safe completion?

2. What is now the total expenditure on the project to the end of this financial year and what is the total estimated expenditure to completion?

3. Does the soil test report from the environmental impact assessment plan (mandatory) support the level of active development/excavation above an active roadway?

4. What were the recommended safety measures for the same roadway and are they currently implemented?

5. Since the project has been stalled for more than 30 days and therefore no longer an active site, what measures were put in place by the supervising agency to ensure public safety?

“It may only be a matter of time before an irreversible tragedy occurs on this roadway. The minister and prime minister responsible should urgently give clarity and immediate solutions to this public safety issue,” said Alexis.

In January 2019, the National Works Agency (NWA) informed the Jamaica Observer North & East that work on the Broadgate to Agualta Vale/Junction Road was scheduled for completion in the second quarter of the 2019/2020 financial year.

“The target for the practical completion of works on the Broadgate to Agualta Vale road improvement project is during the second quarter of the 2019/2020 financial year. The practical completion date is one that has been mandated at the highest level and the contractor is working on a schedule to meet this target,” the NWA had said.

The roadway from Broadgate to Agualta Vale is being widened and realigned in sections to create a seven-metre wide two-lane corridor complete with safety features including retaining walls and shoulders on both sides of the roadway.

The capital A project, which is valued at $597 million, also includes major drainage improvement work where the recurrent slippage of the roadway at an area known as Chovey is to be corrected. The current project is being implemented under Phase One of the larger Toms River to Agualta Vale GOJ Road Improvement Project.

Work began in April 2018 following the signing of the contract in November 2017.

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