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Mandela should see traffic as usual - NWA

Published:Monday | September 5, 2016 | 12:00 AMChristopher Serju
A flag man directing traffic along the Mandela Highway on Saturday.

All four lanes on Mandela Highway will remain open to motorists during the preliminary phase of the roadworks that started on the weekend.

For this reason, says Stephen Shaw, communication and customer services manager at the National Works Agency (NWA), the traffic flow should not be seriously affected if drivers go about their business as usual.

"The carriageway will not be impacted (because) the works that are taking place will be done, for now, off the carriageway. So the four lanes will be open," Shaw told The Gleaner yesterday.

As the new school term starts this morning, concerns have been raised among the motoring public that, with more vehicles using the busy thoroughfare which links St Catherine and St Andrew, the roadwork is likely to slow the traffic flow.


But according to Shaw, there will be no cause for concern if commuters go about their business as they should.

"The challenge will be where persons become curious and engage in rubbernecking, they tend to slow and just gaze at what is taking place," he said, disclosing that the Traffic Division of the Jamaica Constabulary Force has developed a detailed management plan for the duration of the roadworks over the next two years.

The road widening is to be undertaken by China Harbour Engineering Company Limited and will result in the creation of six lanes, a service road to facilitate businesses along the northern side of the carriageway, construction of an overpass bridge, and significant drainage improvement works.

Meanwhile, most of the billboards and other advertising displays that were erected along the roadway between Six Miles in St Andrew and the Highway 2000 East-West On Ramp in St Catherine have been removed in the wake of a warning issued last Tuesday by the NWA of its intention to destroy the signs before the start of the roadworks.

"Signs such as those having to do with speeding and the toll road will be removed and stored. However, all others will be destroyed during the clearing process," the NWA had said.