Bog Walk Gorge reopensFriday, August 20, 2021
BY BALFORD HENRY
The National Works Agency (NWA) says that the Bog Walk Gorge in St Catherine has now been reopened to vehicular traffic following the passage of Tropical Storm Grace on Tuesday.
According to the NWA's manager of communications and customer services, Stephen Shaw, the flood prompted the closure after the Rio Cobre overflowed its banks.
He said that elsewhere in the parish, as well as in Clarendon, NWA teams were still working to clear other roadways that were made impassable by the storm.
Shaw said that the Colbeck Junction to Planters roadway in St Catherine, as well as the Colonel Ridge to Kellits roadway in Clarendon, remain impassable to vehicular traffic. Teams had been mobilised to clear the thoroughfares, but up to 3:00 pm yesterday, both roadways were still impassable.
Shaw also noted that work teams are now working to clear blockages at Rock River to Ginger Hill and Alston to Silent Hill in Clarendon. The Alston to Silent Hill roadway had been restored to single lane access, but the NWA appealed to motorists to exercise caution while using these roadways.
In the meantime, in St Catherine, a team is working to clear the Bartley to Ginger Ridge roadway. The corridor, which was blocked by landslides and fallen trees now, has single lane access in some areas but remain impassable at others.
“The intent is to have the roadway restored to at least single lane access before late this this evening,” Shaw told the Jamaica Observer.
He also advised motorists to avoid blocked areas and to use alternative routes to access their destinations.
As reported earlier yesterday, some key intersections in the parishes of Kingston, St Andrew, and St Catherine are now without the service of traffic signals. This was due to the fact that the traffic light network in these parishes were impacted by the wind and rain associated with the passage of Tropical Storm Grace.
Shaw said that a team of engineers was going through each signalised intersection, checking to have remedial works done where the systems are non-functional.
Among intersections where the signals are out of service are: Oxford Road and Belmont Road; Knutsford Boulevard/Grenada Crescent and Spanish Town Road/ Weymouth Drive.
He said that investigations suggested that some of the systems were being affected by electrical problems. These include burnt components caused by power surges and low voltage in other instances.
He said that a team was working to have intersections in Portmore, including the intersection of Gregory Park and Cumberland Road in St Catherine, where the system suffered structural damage normalised.
He also reminded the motoring public that no one has the right of way when the traffic lights are out at intersection. Motorists are being urged to exercise patience in using intersections where the traffic system is non-functional at this time.
Jamaicans are being urged to remain vigilant during the hurricane season, as the Caribbean enters the peak of the 2021 Atlantic season.
In the meantime, Jamaica's Meteorological Division says that the country is still in the middle of the hurricane season, and anything could develop at any time.
“So, it is important that all our residents pay special attention to information as soon as it is sent out,” said director of the Meteorological Service Branch (Met Service), Evan Thompson.
He said that, in relation to Tropical Storm Grace, “it was remarkable how many persons, even after a tropical storm warning was issued for Jamaica, didn't even know that there was ever a tropical storm watch that was put in place for the island… for over 24 hours.”
“So, there are many members of the public who are not paying attention to the news [or] what is developing in our waters,” he said.
A tropical storm warning was lifted on Wednesday, August 18, as the system moved away from the island. Meanwhile, the division has advised that there is no current sign of any other notable weather system that could potentially develop within Jamaica's vicinity.
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