Wed | Dec 12, 2018

Barbican Road improvement 'mess' - Business operators cite lack of coordination between implementing agencies

Published:Tuesday | March 6, 2018 | 12:00 AMPaul Clarke/Gleaner Writer
Hardware operator Neville Yee says he is not pleased with the pace of roadworks in Barbican, St Andrew.

The apparent lack of synergy between the main executing agencies undertaking road improvement works in Barbican, St Andrew, is drawing the ire of business operators, in spite of a planned increase in activities to improving the flow of traffic.

The contention is that executing agencies, China Harbour Engineering Company (CHEC) and the National Works Agency (NWA), because of an alleged language barrier, appear to be working independently of each other, giving rise to confusion and, at times, double work, according to business operators in the area.

"They speak to the Chinese and they don't understand. The Chinese talk to them (NWA) and they don't understand, so it's one big mess and it's costing my business and the work just drags on," charged hardware operator Neville Yee.

In the meantime, the NWA said that additional sections of the corridor are expected to be paved over the next week, according to a statement from Communication Manager Stephen Shaw.

But, the increased work may come as little comfort to some business operators, who complained about the way in which the work has been progressing and the impact it has been having on their profit margins.

"Last week, I made only $1,000 after paying my staff. Business has nosedived by 30 per cent," the owner of Bell's Pharmacy, Catherine Bell, lamented.

Yee agrees: "I can tell you that I am losing nearly 30 to 40 per cent of sales because of the situation."

Work is to be expedited on the northern side of Barbican Road, between Birdsucker Lane and Jacks Hill Road; the eastern side of East Kings House Road, between the entrance to Fontana Pharmacy and the traffic lights and in the centre of Barbican Square itself.

"Some 480 metres of asphaltic concrete paving will be done in the areas over the next seven days, starting today. Access to a section of East Kings House Road will be restricted for vehicles travelling along Barbican Road from the direction of Jacks Hill Road," Shaw disclosed.

Motorists seeking to access East Kings House Road from the direction of Jacks Hill are being advised to use Salisbury Avenue, then on to Paddington Terrace to exit on East Kings House Road.

Shaw said that the changes were not expected to affect motorists travelling from the direction of Birdsucker Lane towards Jacks Hill Road. The traffic changes are being implemented, starting at midday today.

paul.clarke@gleanerjm.com