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Sewer repairs to shut down sections of North Street

Published:Thursday | December 8, 2016 | 12:00 AMChristopher Serju
Major sewer rehabilitation work to begin this weekend should correct problems on North Street in Kingston.

Starting this weekend, the section of North Street, downtown, between East Street and Rum Lane, will be closed to vehicular traffic as the National Water Commission (NWC) undertakes a major sewer rehabilitation project slated to last for at least six weeks.

"We are going to be undertaking works to lay approximately 170 metres of new sewers to replace the existing sewer section that has been failing. So we're going to be excavating, and part of the challenge, though, is that we are going to be excavating to very significant depths. We are going about six metres underground in some instances, so it's a very technical and very challenging piece of work," Charles Buchanan, corporate public relations manager at the NWC, told The Gleaner yesterday.

For this reason, worker safety will be priority.

"We're going to have to make sure that the contractor is trenching correctly and that all the things necessary for safety and to allow people to work at that depth below the surface [are in place]."

The inconvenience to road users is another issue the NWC has taken into consideration, Buchanan explained.

"We have made arrangements for traffic to be diverted around the area of work, and we are doing all we can to expedite the work. Although there is never a good time to do it, it also will help that much of the work will take place when schools are going to be out. So at least, for a portion of the work, we won't be inconveniencing the heavy traffic of persons taking their children to the schools in the immediate area. When we return in the New Year, we hope to be well on our way to completing an improved situation so that the sanitation and public health can be protected in that area."