Jamaica News: A new US$1-million road will be constructed to bypass the Three Miles area in Kingston, which has been closed to vehicular traffic to facilitate continued road-improvement works.
To be completed by the end of October, the road, which will link Chesterfield Drive to Marcus Garvey Drive, will be built by China Harbour Engineering Company Ltd. (CHEC).
Prime Minister, the Most Hon. Andrew Holness and representatives from CHEC, signed a contract to undertake the works during a ceremony at Jamaica House today (September 17).
“When that road is completed, there will be no need for commuters going downtown to be diverted through [sections of West Central St. Andrew]. Now they can turn on to Chesterfield, which would be the road right beside Desnoes and Geddes/Red Stripe, which would normally take you into Seaview (Gardens), but you would go down and then make a left turn on to the new road running alongside the train line,” he said.
Mr. Holness said it was recognised that with the closure of Three Miles, the designated alternative routes would not be sufficient, and that this new two-lane 1.4 km road, which is part of the Government’s overall development plan and traffic management strategy, would be necessary.
“We always had a plan to develop a new road. That road was considered in the development of the Caymanas Special Economic Zone. We have decided to bring that development forward,” he said.
The Prime Minister noted that the plan is to build the road alongside the existing rail line that runs between the Caymanas area and Marcus Garvey Drive. This road will create a dedicated access route to Marcus Garvey Drive for traffic coming from the Mandela Highway.
“It will, therefore, be a perfect corridor to put a road that will be dedicated for the movement of goods, particularly goods containerised and pulled by trailers, so you can make a direct link from the Caymanas industrial zone, which we plan to develop, right into the port,” he said.
The Prime Minister said he anticipates that the new road will “significantly ease the traffic situation when it is done”.
The works will involve drainage improvement with the installation of pipe culverts along the route, including behind Red Stripe and the end of Chesterfield Drive. There will also be the installation of temporary traffic signals at the Marcus Garvey Drive intersection with the new link road.
In addition, Jamaica Public Service (JPS) poles are to be relocated at the intersection of Marcus Garvey Drive to provide adequate turning radius for tractor-trailers, and a temporary bailey bridge is to be installed along the link road.
The Prime Minister assured that the road will be pedestrian-friendly, as there will be the construction of a sidewalk, as well as the provision of four bus bays along the route from Spanish Town Road to Marcus Garvey Drive.
Mr. Holness also informed that a tidal flow system will be introduced along this route to ensure greater and more efficient flow of traffic. “The plan is, in the mornings, that road will be used in a tidal fashion. In other words, it will be one direction to take the volume of traffic and then at a certain point, it will revert to two lanes,” the Prime Minister said.
He said that motorists travelling 30 km per hour through the Seaview Gardens community and 50 km per hour on the new road will be able to cover the detour in three minutes.
In the meantime, the Prime Minister again apologised for the inconvenience caused by the ongoing road works.
“We understand that the works that are now under construction will have a disruptive effect, and we understand that it could have a negative impact on productivity. We do not take it lightly,” he said.
The Prime Minister said he is paying close attention to the criticisms, the complaints, and the genuine observations of the public, especially the frustration expressed regarding the length of time persons have to sit in traffic.
“I want the Jamaican people to know that your Government is listening… and your Government will do what is necessary to ensure that while we are progressing, we are not hurting in the interim.
So, pardon our progress, but please remember your Government cares and is working on your behalf,” he said.
Source: JIS News