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Corporate Area road works not properly planned, commuters complain

Tuesday, September 11, 2018

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KINGSTON, Jamaica — It is day two of bumper-to-bumper traffic in the Corporate Area resulting from ongoing road works, and commuters are getting more frustrated by the minute.

“This is just ridiculous now,” said one woman who told OBSERVER ONLINE that her taxi ride from Patrick City to Half Way Tree, which usually costs $100, was hiked to $200 this morning.

She shared that the back-up of traffic on Washington Boulevard has been horrible in comparison to the same time yesterday.

“I was at the bus stop from seven o' clock and it was not until five minutes after 8:00 that I got a taxi. It was the same time that I left home yesterday and by 8:00 I was at work,” said the woman, who requested that her identity be withheld.

Meanwhile, a motorist shared similar sentiments and expressed that the road works were not properly thought out.

“This cannot continue. How yuh fi have part of Spanish Town Road and Hagley Park (Road) block off while up this side (Constant Spring Road) under construction too? This is a recipe for madness and it's gonna cause accidents. Everyweh yuh turn the place ram up,” said the man, who gave his name only as Robert.

“See, is 8 o'clock! The children late for school and me and my wife late for work,” he continued, adding that he left his home in St Catherine some time after 6:00 am and used the Sligoville main road to get into Kingston in a bid to avoid the congestion on Mandela Highway.

Another frustrated motorist, who did not wish to be named, said she wanted Prime Minister Andrew Holness to reconsider the timing of the road works.

“I don't know if it is possible now for him to put off one of them but this is getting to me. Andrew needs to remember that majority of people in St Catherine work in Kingston so when you do work that is causing congestion on two of the major roads we use to get here then you're gonna have problems. Mandela under construction, Three Miles under construction and the people from up in the (St Andrew) hills have it hard finding them way down cause work doing on Constant Spring Road… Madness I tell you!”

“I appreciate the development but Andrew never think this one through at all,” she continued.

The traffic congestion comes as authorities reroute traffic at the Three Miles intersection where a double-tier overpass is being constructed, and along Constant Spring Road to facilitate the widening of that arterial corridor.

The Three Miles intersection is being expanded as part of the Hagley Park Road Improvement Project. The works, which include the widening of the road from two to four lanes and the installation of new sewer, water and storm water drainage features, is valued at US$56.5 million.

At the same time, Constant Spring Road is also being widened from two to four lanes and includes upgrading of storm-water drainage, and construction of two additional bus bays at the transportation terminal in Manor Park, St Andrew. This project is valued at US$19-million.

The two projects, which are scheduled to be completed in June 2019, are being done along with the US$64-million Mandela Highway Realignment and Reconstruction project that was originally slated for completion last month but was later extended to year end.

Mandela Highway serves as a link between Kingston and the northern, western and southern sections of the island.

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