Wed | Aug 23, 2017

'The pain before the baby is born' - NWA says Marcus Garvey road work to be completed by March

Published:Thursday | November 3, 2016 | 11:00 AMJason Cross
Motorists travelling along Marcus Garvey Drive in Kingston spend a lengthy time in traffic yesterday as road construction continues.

Some politicians were late for Parliament on Tuesday and the reason they gave was that the traffic on Marcus Garvey Drive was very heavily backed up.

Stephen Shaw, director of corporate services at the National Works Agency, has described the situation as "the pain before the baby is born".

Some motorists who use Marcus Garvey Drive daily, told The Gleaner yesterday that they have a serious problem with the volume of traffic they have to endure in the mornings as well as in the evenings to get from work.

Shaw revealed that burst pipes and a dysfunctional stop light have been the main causes of the heavy traffic of late.

Those changes to facilitate the fixing of the pipes and the lights will continue every other day, according to Shaw and also because of the nature of work that has to be done to complete the road.

"Almost every two or three days (there are changes) because of the nature of the work that is being done in terms of the drainage infrastructure on the northern side and at the same time doing base activities. What is happening now is that we are trying to have the corridor in a state of reasonable acceptance going into the Christmas season," Shaw said.

"What we are trying to do is to complete the lifting of the road and see if we can get the concrete base finished to facilitate the paving. When we put down the concrete base, we cannot allow vehicular traffic on it for about four days."

As it relates to the mud and dust that have been causing big problems for motorists, Shaw said it is a necessary inconvenience.

"There is no construction activity you are going to undertake that you don't find dust. As it relates to the mud, it's because of the type of material. If it rains, it is very well likely it will become muddy. That's just the nature of construction," he told The Gleaner.

The project is slated to be completed by March 2017, and Shaw was confident that there would be significant progress by December this year.

jovan.johnson@gleanerjm.com