Wednesday 19 February, 2020

Traffic changes made; NWA cites ‘unruly motorists’ behind gridlock

The National Works Agency (NWA) has moved to clamp down on what it says are “unruly motorists” who contributed significantly to Monday’s nightmare scenario on a number of Corporate Area streets - where traffic literally came to a standstill for several hours in one of the worst gridlocks ever seen in the nation’s capital.

To prevent a repeat on Tuesday, the NWA, following a meeting involving its senior engineers and senior police officers, has announced that traffic will be restricted on Gretna Green Avenue.

The change arose because the NWA has determined that motorists who attempted to use Gretna Green Avenue to bypass Hagley Park Road caused traffic to back up at the intersection of Waltham Park Road and Hagley Park Road.

Gretna Green Avenue runs off both Waltham Park Road and Hagley Park Road.

In a statement on Monday evening, the NWA also said access to Waltham Park Road through the Total Gas Station at the intersection of Waltham Park Road and Gretna Green Avenue will also be restricted.

According to the works agency, some motorists also used the road through the gas station as a bypass on Monday, contributing to the traffic build-up.

The NWA said the changes are aimed at having traffic flow freely through critical intersections.

Monday’s gridlock came about as the NWA closed the Three Miles intersection where major bridge works are taking place on a project that will see the usually congested Hagley Park Road widened into four lanes.

For the next eight months, no traffic will be allowed through the intersection that normally takes upwards of 70,000 vehicles on a daily basis.

On Monday, the Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF) announced that the alternative routes were unable to carry the 70,000 vehicles.

“Olympic Way, Bay Farm Road, Waltham Park Road and several roads (the alternative routes) leading off have been inundated with motor vehicles, which has resulted in significant delays.

“The problem is being further compounded by unruly motorists who continue to ignore the road code and the instructions of traffic personnel. Motorists are to expect delays and are being urged to obey the instructions of the police,” the JCF said.

As of Tuesday, the following additional changes will apply:

1. Access will be granted to vehicular traffic along Hagley Park Road from the direction of the intersection of Waltham Park and Hagley Park Road, heading towards Half-Way Tree.

2. Buses operated by the Jamaica Urban Transit Company (JUTC) and franchise operators will be allowed to use Olympic Way and Bay Farm Road to access Spanish Town Road.

3. Openings in the median along Spanish Town Road between Majesty Gardens and Penwood Road will be closed.

The NWA is also reminding commuters that Henley Road and Penwood Road are available for persons wishing to travel towards Half-Way Tree from Spanish Town Road.

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