Saturday 17 August, 2019

Portmore residents who work in HWT avoiding 3 Miles, Hagley Park Rd

Ongoing road and bridge works in a closed section of Marcus Garvey Drive in the Three Miles area of St Andrew.

Ongoing road and bridge works in a closed section of Marcus Garvey Drive in the Three Miles area of St Andrew.

Some residents of Portmore, St Catherine who work in the Half-Way Tree area of St Andrew, have resorted to travelling all the way to downtown Kingston then on towards Half-Way Tree in their efforts to avoid the heavy congestion in the Three Miles and Hagley Park Road areas as a result of ongoing road works.

“It costs me $1,000 more each week to get to work at the Mall Plaza on Constant Spring Road,” said Charmaine Williams while speaking with Loop News on Saturday. Williams said apart from the extra money she is forced to spend, she also has to leave home close to an hour earlier than usual to ensure that she gets to work by 9:00 a.m.

According to her, at least two of her friends who live in Portmore and work in Half-Way Tree, have also resorted to travelling to downtown Kingston then on to the St Andrew capital to ensure they get to work on time.

“Is ‘nuff people in Portmore doing it,” said Williams. “I hope they just hurry up and finish the work or get it to a point where the traffic can flow good again,” she added.

For Gwendolyn Shakespeare who lives in Greater Portmore, avoiding Hagley Park Road and its environs is a must. Like Williams, she works in the Half-Way Tree area, but she has the additional challenge of travelling with her two children who attend school in Half-Way Tree.

“I considered letting them take a school bus, but I couldn’t afford that on my salary,” said the single mom.

But, it is still costing her $2,000 more per week for travel to and from work for herself and her children.

“I don’t want them (her children) to be late, and I know Monday morning (September 3) when school open (for the new school year) it is going to be difficult travelling through that (Three Miles/Hagley Park Road) area,” Shakespeare lamented.

“I read that there will be serious traffic changes in that area from Sunday,” she added.

The traffic changes referenced by Shakespeare are those which were announced last week by the National Works Agency (NWA).

The NWA said a major traffic redistribution exercise in the Corporate Area will take effect from Sunday, September 2.  The exercise will be implemented around several major roadwork projects in the city, in an effort to deal with the expected increase in the traffic flow and the attendant congestion that usually greet the start of the new school year.

The NWA advised that effective Sunday, through traffic will be prohibited from accessing the Three Miles intersection from Marcus Garvey Drive. However, local traffic, terminating before getting to the intersection, will be allowed access to the area.

Additionally, motorists who normally use Marcus Garvey Drive to access the Three Miles intersection en route to Half-Way Tree and locations further north, will be diverted along Marcus Garvey Drive, East Avenue and Maxfield Avenue.

The NWA said the corridor will operate as a one-way thoroughfare travelling north along East Avenue and between Richmond Park Avenue and Hagley Park Road and along Maxfield Avenue.


Also, motorists who normally use Marcus Garvey Drive to access the Three Miles intersection en route to Six Miles and locations further west, will be diverted along East Avenue, Spanish Town Road, Waltham Park Road, Bay Farm Road and Penwood Road, to exit on the western side of Spanish Town Road in the vicinity of Amalgamated Distributors. Alternatively, motorists can use the Portmore Toll Road.

And motorists will no longer be permitted to make a left turn from Balmoral Avenue on to Maxfield Avenue. Motorists who wish to travel south towards Spanish Town Road, can take Ballater Avenue off Balmoral Avenue, exiting on to Maxfield Avenue at the new traffic signals at Richmond Park Avenue.

Hagley Park Road is being widened into a four-lane thoroughfare to ease traffic congestion along the busy corridor. The work is taking place between Portia Simpson Miller Square at Three Miles and Maxfied Avenue near Half-Way Tree.

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