Wed | Oct 21, 2020

Work had been planned for collapsed Junction spot – NWA

Published:Wednesday | September 30, 2020 | 12:18 AMGareth Davis Sr/Gleaner Writer
A minibus traverses past the collapsed roadway between Broadgate and the Westmoreland Bridge on Tuesday. Heavy rainfall has been blamed by local authorities for the damage but the National Works Agency has acknowledged that that section of the corridor had
A minibus traverses past the collapsed roadway between Broadgate and the Westmoreland Bridge on Tuesday. Heavy rainfall has been blamed by local authorities for the damage but the National Works Agency has acknowledged that that section of the corridor had "inherent weakness".

JUNCTION, St Mary:

The National Works Agency (NWA) has cleared a section of the roadway through Junction in the vicinity of the Westmoreland Bridge in St Mary that collapsed on Monday, rendering the corridor impassable to vehicular traffic.

Mobilising heavy equipment on Tuesday, NWA crews refilled the collapsed area to grant access to vehicular traffic from the Westmoreland Bridge to Broadgate and beyond.

Communications manager of the NWA, Stephen Shaw, acknowledged that there was “inherent weakness at that location” but said that the crumbling of the structure was not a fundamental setback.

“We had put together a technical plan ... costings and everything and are awaiting some final instructions from the Government to proceed,” Shaw told The Gleaner.

“There was always that plan to do a fulsome project at that location. So it was always on the drawing board. It is nothing new.”

The collapse caused vehicular traffic to be rerouted from the Grande Hole Bridge through to Highgate or Richmond, exiting at Westmoreland Bridge, causing temporary hardships for commuters who were forced to pay increased bus and taxi fares.

Tuesday’s restoration is a stopgap measure aimed at facilitating commuters who journey between Kingston and the northern zones of Portland and Annotto Bay, St Mary.

Approximately $600 million was earmarked of the upgrading of the corridor from the roundabout near Annotto Bay through to Broadgate. The scope comprises the resurfacing of approximately five miles of roadway, including the construction of drains, culverts, retaining walls, barriers, and gabion baskets.

The project has been hit by cost overruns and missed deadlines.