Highway repairs under way
Workmen under the supervision of China Harbour Engineering Company (CHEC) last week began clearing debris from the roadway along the North-South Highway where a landslide has reduced traffic flow to single lane, between Unity Valley and Treadways in St Catherine.
Lu Qin, CHEC executive deputy general manager, told The Gleaner yesterday that reconstruction of the retaining wall is due to be completed in January 2017 but could be finished by December 2016, depending on the "geotechnical condition" of the affected area.
"You have to actually cut away and then see the stones and then we will know the condition of the area, [because] the quality of the stones and supply of material during the construction period will affect the pace of the reconstruction work," Qin explained.
WORK TO BE DONE IN PHASES
The scope of the work will be carried out in two phases - improvement of the drainage system, as well as repair and rehabilitation of cut slopes in the area, which will include strengthening and reinforcement.
The CHEC spokesman said: "The quality of the stones and the supply of material during the construction period, we have experience, but for this project you cannot actually rely on experience, you have to actually cut away and then see the stones and then we will know the condition of the area."
The cost of the repair work has been estimated at US$3 million, and the National Road Operating and Constructing Company the oversight body, has approved the design plans.
"The Chinese have brought in some engineers to work on it, alongside those who are here, and whatever other local input is needed," he explained.
Motorists will continue to be inconvenienced by the reduction to one lane over the affected two-kilometre stretch at least until year end.