Commuters travelling along the severely congested Barbican Road will soon be able to breathe a sigh of relief, as the National Works Agency (NWA) has begun work to significantly improve the roadway and general flow of traffic in that area.
The ‘Barbican Road Improvement Project’ will see the corridor being improved from the current two lanes to a four-lane carriageway with a median.
The works are being undertaken as part of the Major Infrastructure Development Programme (MIDP) valued at more than US$300 million, which is being implemented by the China Harbour Engineering Company (CHEC).
In an interview with JIS News, Manager for Communication and Customer Services at the NWA, Stephen Shaw, informs that the plan is to widen that section of Barbican Road from the traffic signals at Russell Heights up to the foot of Jacks Hill, which is just over a kilometre in length.
“This is part of the bigger plan to improve traffic flow throughout the Corporate Area and reduce congestion in several areas,” he notes.
Mr. Shaw says the project is at the first phase, which involves the acquisition of lands and the construction of boundary walls. The second phase will be the actual road improvement and construction.
“We are looking at some 27 parcels of land that will be acquired as part of this widening process… . We have already completed the process for about 19 of those and are in discussions with the National Land Agency as it relates to the remainder,” he tells JIS News.
Mr. Shaw estimates that by April, the acquisition phase would have been completed and the “boundary walls set back. Where there are buildings to be demolished, we would have done so and then be in a position to hand over the area to the contractor for the civil works to commence”.
He informs that phase two of the project is expected to last from May to September, resulting in the widening of the roadway and realignment of the Barbican Road and East Kings House Road intersection into a major T-junction.
The works also include signalisation of the Barbican Road/East Kings House Road and Bird Sucker Lane/Barbican Road intersections.
Simultaneously, the National Water Commission will be laying pipes, water and sewer lines while the Jamaica Public Service will remove poles.
“We intend to incorporate the works of the other agencies so that we do not have a situation where (they) have to come back not so long after we have completed this project to do their civil work… so we are coordinating in that regard,” Mr. Shaw explains.
He says that once the project is completed, there should be a vast improvement in travel, as the entire area will be enhanced as it relates to traffic and congestion management.
Mr. Shaw urges persons to exercise caution as they traverse that area.
“There will be difficulties and challenges while the project is ongoing, but it will be for a greater good; and so, we are asking persons to work with us as we work to complete what we are hoping to be a very successful project,” he says.
Article by: Kadian Brown
Photo from: www.jis.gov.jm