On 17 September 2020, Chief Technical Officer in the Ministry of Infrastructure Development, Public Utilities, Energy, Transport and Implementation, Najar Andall, gave an update on major road works at the Trucking Industry Stakeholders meeting held at the Kirani James Athletic Stadium.
Andall noted that the Western Road Corridor is one of the main road networks for transporting goods across the island and is heavily traversed by truck operators on a daily basis. She observed that with the recent slippage on the Molinere road, it has proven to be a very challenging time for truck operators. Infrastructural work on the Western Road Corridor is scheduled to commence mid-2021.
On the closure of the road on Marrast Hill, she stated it will be for a period of 2 months in order to facilitate the construction of a retaining wall and rigid pavement structure and foundational work. Andall also gave an update on Jones Road. In the upcoming weeks, she announced work will commence on the construction of retaining walls and drains in the area and broken sections of the road will be repaired with asphalt. The implementation of these works should not result in major disruption to the flow of traffic in the area. However, contingency traffic plans would be implemented if necessary.
Truck operators/owners at the meeting took the opportunity to emphasise some of the issues affecting them which were the fragility of some of the roads, the lack of retaining walls and proper drainage. Further it was pointed out that the overhanging of vegetation is affecting their visibility and road safety. They also noted that as a result of the overhanging their trucks are sustaining damages.
Peter Charles, Engineering Assistant, recognised the support of Grenlec and other operators in assisting in the removal of overhangings. An appeal was made to other operators of bucket trucks to also give support. However, it was noted that landowners also have a responsibility to clear their overhangings and to desist from planting trees such as coconut, breadfruit and mango trees near the roadways to avoid overhangings and the falling of fruits which can be a significant threat to the motoring public and other road users.
Charles also appealed to truckers to clean the road ways of spillage from their vehicles. Such spillage of gravel, sand, and concrete mix is creating significant road hazards and traffic delays. The RGPF will be intensifying enforcement and appeal to road users to report such incidents immediately.
All road users have a part to play in the preservation of the road network and ensuring the safety of all.