KINGSTON, Jamaica — The National Water Commission (NWC) says reports that it intends to dig up the newly completed section of the Palisadoes roadway are incorrect.
In a release today, NWC said in January 2010, it was advised by the National Works Agency (NWA) of its intention to undertake the Palisadoes Shoreline Protection and Rehabilitation Works, which, it was recognised, would have severely impacted and rendered virtually inaccessible the existing 16” pipeline supplying water to the Norman Manley International Airport and the Port Royal community.
"At that time, the NWC did not have any immediate plans or budget to replace this pipeline. However, given the need to replace the pipeline at least over the 4.7 km of the road works' direct impact and the age of the existing pipeline, the NWC considered it prudent to use the opportunity to have the entire six km of pipeline from the Harbour View round-a-bout to the Norman Manley International Airport round-a-bout replaced," the release said.
The NWC said a memorandum of agreement was signed for the replacement of approximately six kilometres of the existing water supply pipeline along the Palisadoes peninsula between the Harbour View round-a-bout and the Norman Manley International Airport round-a-bout in tandem with the project in September 2012.
Under this agreement, two kilometres of the new pipeline were to be replaced at a cost to the NWA, and approximately four kilometres at a cost to the NWC, with payments to be made to the NWA in three instalments, after the submission of invoices.
"Under the signed agreement and in all the discussions on this matter since 2010, it was always the understanding that overall project management services for the project would be undertaken by the NWA. It was always accepted that the NWC would not lay any pipes in the area. In, fact the memorandum of agreement explicitly states, “NWA shall be responsible for provision of overall project management services of the project, inclusive of engineering designs, survey services, bill of quantities, procurement, monitoring and coordination of the contractor’s activities’," the NWC said.
"It was always agreed that the new 16” (400mm) pipeline would have been laid in a utility corridor alongside the new roadway (or on the shoulder of the roadway) and not in the road as is being reported in sections of the media. The old pipeline would be abandoned and left in place.”
The utility said it was always agreed that the project would be managed by the NWA, not the NWC, and that the pipe laying works needed to be done towards the end of the overall project as the elevations and road alignment would be progressively changed during the implementation of the works.
“NWA would ensure that the works [were] properly coordinated and the laying of the new pipes would not impact completed road works," NWC said.