Relief soon!
$15-m roadwork on pothole-riddled Martha Brae main road to begin next week
A taxi operator tries to navigate numerous potholes on a section of the Martha Brae main road yesterday. (Photo: Mark Cummings)

MARTHA BRAE, Trelawny — THE National Works Agency (NWA) has given a Monday, February 13, 2023 start date for work on the Martha Brae section of the heavily traversed Falmouth to Springvale corridor in Trelawny.

"Approximately 500 metres of roadway is to be fully rehabilitated between the Chukka property at Martha Brae and the birth home of the late Hugh Shearer, close to the Peru crossing at Holland," Janel Ricketts, the NWA's community relations officer for the western region, told the Jamaica Observer West yesterday.

She said the works, to be undertaken at a cost of $14.9 million by C&C Construction Limited, will include the construction of drainage facilities on the corridor, and is expected to last for eight weeks.

The announcement should come as a relief to motorists who have complained bitterly about the poor state of the roadway and staged at least four protest actions last year over its deplorable condition, the latest of which was in November when irate taxi operators and residents blocked numerous sections of the pothole-riddled Martha Brae to Wakefield corridor, demanding better road conditions.

RICKETTS… approximately 500 metres of roadway is to be fully rehabilitated.

At that time scores of people, including students, were left to walk — miles in some instances — to get to the point where they could secure transportation for their destination.

"We will not stop blocking the road until we get good road," one of the protesters said then.

Another chimed in: "Enough is enough! Wi can't take it no more. We cannot afford to replace the front-end parts that the bad road a knock out every day."

Yesterday Ricketts told the Observer West that the planned rehabilitation of the Martha Brae roadway forms part of a targeted approach to improving the 14-mile Falmouth to Springvale corridor.

"This effort started with the rehabilitation of the Wakefield to Deeside main road, which also falls along the stretch of roadway leading from Falmouth to Springvale. Work on this corridor is far advanced and effort is now being placed on completing the asphalting of the corridor," said Ricketts, adding that the $200-million project is now about 80 per cent completed.

The Martha Brae to Bounty Hall section of the corridor is expected to be also rehabilitated at a cost $200 million, later this year.

BY MARK CUMMINGS Editor-at-large

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