Thu | Nov 21, 2019

‘A little more patience, please’ - NWA asks for more time to complete major road projects

Published:Friday | November 8, 2019 | 12:27 AMPaul Clarke/Gleaner Writer
Motorists are not expected to see raised manholes like this one on Constant Spring Road in days to come as the National Works Agency moves to complete the job by applying the final layer of asphalt.
Motorists are not expected to see raised manholes like this one on Constant Spring Road in days to come as the National Works Agency moves to complete the job by applying the final layer of asphalt.

Motorists and other road users are being asked to exercise a “little more” patience as the National Works Agency (NWA) and its subcontractors work to bring properties along both the Constant Spring and Hagley Park roads on to the upgraded water mains before laying the final layer of asphalt.

“As you know, we are putting in water mains, and when you do this, those mains have to be pressure tested up to 300 pounds per square inch. Normally, you get water in your house at about 60 pounds per square inch, but we have to go up to about 300 pounds per square inch to make sure that in case there is a pressure fluctuation, the pipes won’t burst,” said E.G. Hunter, the chief executive officer of the NWA.

“After we have finished that, we have to migrate the customers from the existing water mains over to the new ones on a premises-by-premises basis, and each lot will have to be connected, at which time the old mains will then be abandoned,” he explained.

Road users have been complaining in the media about the many elevated NWA manholes along the semi-completed road surfaces of Hagley Park and Constant Spring roads. The motorists are peeved that their daily commute is made much harder because of the elevated manholes along the roadways, which create an obstacle course.

Hunter is asking that road users remain patient as the NWA and the National Water Commission work to complete testing of recently laid pipes before smoothing out the road surfaces.

“We don’t want the experience anymore of digging up perfectly laid road surfaces to fix any pipelines. So Hagley Park Road, for example, the water mains run all the way down to Portia Simpson Miller Square, and those mains have been tested, sterilised, and have been passed for use. At the moment, properties are being brought [on to] the new mains.

“This process is ongoing along all of Hagley Park Road, and when this is done, we will go ahead and lay the final layer on the roadway, giving motorists a smooth journey,” noted Hunter.

He said that the situation is much more difficult on Constant Spring Road, where even though they have completely resurfaced some sections of that roadway, water has been seeping through the asphalt because the old main has not yet been retired.

“Every day you drive up there, you will see sweat coming up from the asphalt, which means the old main is just not holding up well. But it is still work in progress, and I want the public to know that all the work will be done sometime within the month,” Hunter added.

The NWA boss further explained that the new mains along Constant Spring Road have all been pressure-tested and are being sterilised before ­connections to properties are undertaken.

paul.clarke@gleanerjm.com