Major road works in focus as traffic chokes the nation’s streets daily
Governor General, Sir Patrick Allen (foreground - file photo)
With some 650,000 motor vehicles choking the nation’s under-maintained roadways daily, causing serious gridlock and the loss of many man hours, the Government is moving to address the problem.
Under the Major Infrastructure Development Programme (MIDP), the Government will be taking steps to improve the carrying capacity of several major traffic corridors in the upcoming fiscal year.
Governor General, Sir Patrick Allen, in delivering the Throne Speech on Thursday, said the Ferris Cross to MacField Road in Westmoreland will be completed, while civil works on the Constant Spring and Hagley Park Road projects should commence.
Work has already started on the Constant Spring corridor in the vicinity of the Constant Spring Golf Club. It is being transformed into a four-lane road that is expected to significantly ease the traffic congestion on one of the Corporate Area’s busiest thoroughfares. The work is slated to last 14 months.
Also this year, the Barbican Road and Mandela Highway improvement projects are to be completed.
Sir Patrick said the Government is paying keen attention to the growing problem of vehicular traffic congestion in town centres and urban areas.
He said the 650,000 vehicles on the nation’s streets represent a doubling over the last decade, and an annual growth rate of almost four per cent.
“Our current roadways and intersections were not designed to carry these volumes of vehicular traffic,” said the governor general.
He said congestion is not only a function of the carrying capacity of the roadways, but also a function of the discipline and consideration of road users.
He said the National Works Agency (NWA) will continue the build-out of its broadband fibre-optic infrastructure, on which several smart technological applications are to be installed to improve traffic management, enforcement, along with road safety and security.
“This fiscal year will see the installation of more cameras, licence plate recognition and other technologies, to improve traffic regulation and enforcement,” said the head of state.