St Catherine NE breakaways of urgent concern, says Warmington
Government Minister Everald Warmington has said that while a “complete overhaul” is needed for some roads in St Catherine North Eastern, where breakaways and potholes have multiplied due to recent rainfall, there is not enough funds available for such projects.
However, he acknowledged that breakaways along the Grateful Hill, Bamboo Ridge and Williamsfield roads are in need of urgent attention as they expose the public to danger.
“These breakaways are of urgent concern and I have asked the National Works Agency (NWA) to scope and provide estimates so we can go to tender,” Warmington told The Gleaner as he toured the areas on Wednesday, along with Member of Parliament Kerensia Morrison and representatives of the NWA.
“The breakaways are very concerning as they are, and unless something is done we are going to have a far worse situation to deal with, so we have to address them right now,” stressed Warmington, who is the minister without portfolio in Ministry of Economic Growth and Job Creation with responsibility for works.
St Catherine North Eastern has been bedevilled by poor roads for many years and Warmington could not give a pledge to wholesale rehabilitation, despite the further deterioration since the recent heavy rains.
“As far as the road structure is concerned, it needs complete overhaul and funds are not available to take on that project right now. However, patching will be done where necessary,” he assured.
NWA Communications Manager Stephen Shaw told The Gleaner that the agency has been instructed to look at where adjustments to designs are required and carry out further investigations in order to determine the cost to repair the breakaways.
Shaw also disclosed that since the recent rains, the NWA had reopened the majority of corridors islandwide that were rendered impassable.
“Up until Tuesday, we had only three corridors out of the 206 or so that were left impassable left to be cleared,” he revealed, citing New Market in St Elizabeth, Stand Up Hill along the Gordon Town Road in St Andrew, the road from Papine to Bull Bay as the ones still blocked.
He said that a fourth road, from Thompson Town to Victoria, in Clarendon, was being addressed.