Traffic congestion caused by collapsed road eases in Falmouth

Observer staff reporter

Friday, December 15, 2017

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HAGUE, Falmouth — The National Works Agency (NWA) yesterday carried out rehabilitation work on a section of the Falmouth Bypass in Trelawny that collapsed on Wednesday following consistent rainfall that has been lashing the parish.

Motorists waited for hours in long lines of traffic that snaked through the historic town of Falmouth after being diverted from the bypass road.

The diverted traffic exacerbated the normally heavy flow of traffic which congests the roads of Falmouth on a Wednesday.

On Wednesdays, commercial activity is normally at its peak in Falmouth, as a number of vendors and their many customers gather at the popular 'bend-down market' in the burgeoning tourism resort town that also welcomes cruise ship visitors on the same day.

But, NWA's manager of communication and customer services, Stephen Shaw, yesterday noted that the present traffic arrangements are temporary, as the focus is on getting traffic back on to the road and out of the town of Falmouth, where there was excessive delays Wednesday evening.

“We are going to be having a temporary access. It is not going to be permanent. Work will continue, but we want to give people access to a section of the road while we continue the activities,” Shaw told the Jamaica Observer.

He explained that the failure of the road embankment resulted from the destruction by fire of the plastic culverts that formed part of the drainage system along the road.

He said the matter was exacerbated by heavy rains that have been impacting Trelawny since the start of the week.

“The drainage pipe below the road was burnt, and so the floodwaters came, oversaturated the area and the road collapsed,” Shaw said.

But individuals who gathered on the roadway, at which a heavy-duty tractor was excavating the area to facilitate the installation of new pipe culverts, expressed that even if they were not burnt, the culverts would have given way as they were not big enough to transport the heavy volume of water rushing from the hill.

The consensus among the individuals who braved a moderate morning drizzle yesterday was that the engineers who initially constructed the road should have listened to residents who are familiar with the area.

“The engineers don't listen to the people who live in the area who know what happen when it flooding,” a man who identified himself as Tony Tuff rued.

“They should consult the residents when they are doing these things,” he continued.

It is not clear if the works were completed yesterday afternoon, but at press time no traffic congestion was noticed in Falmouth.




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