Phase 1B of the highway project; connecting Sandy Bay to May Pen, is well underway and still on target for completion in September 2012. Careful and efficient project management, with attention to detail has enabled such steady progression.
Construction of the new leg of the Highway involves some amount of blasting and drilling along with cutting, filling and levelling of the undulating terrain. These earthworks have been scheduled during weekdays between 8am-5pm, when fewer residents are at home.
“The earthworks are already 20% complete and we expect design approval at the end of August for the main structures on the Highway. These structures include the toll plaza and bridges,” expressed TransJamaican Highway Quality, Maintenance and Planning Engineer, Melbourne Lyn-Cook. "We estimate we can begin laying foundations for those structures next month,” he said.
Weekly utilities site meetings with LIME, Flow, Jamaica Public Service (JPS), National Water Supply (NWC), Rural Water Supply (RWC) and the Project Team ensure careful synchronisation between the Highway’s construction and the diversion of utility infrastructure wherever it crosses the alignment of the Highway. “These weekly site meetings ensure that the placement of utility fibre cables and pipes are conducted simultaneously with the earthworks,” stated Lyn-Cook, “This ensures that we prevent the need to dig into the finished roadway, as much as possible.”
During the construction period, Transjamaican Highway Ltd will also commission the building of noise walls along the corridor of the Phase 1B leg. These walls will not only reduce the noise heard in the communities adjacent to the Highway, such as Mineral Heights, Halse Hall, Savannah Cross and Hunts Bay, from traffic passing along the Highway, but will also serve as a safety feature in preventing pedestrians and animals from gaining access to the road. The existing phase of the Highway already has a 120m long wall along the corridor of the Old Harbour leg, and the Developers also plan to construct an additional 700m wall in the area to provide the community with the full functionality of a noise wall.
“We are pleased to have the process moving so well. We remain mindful of the September 2012 timeframe, but are still ensuring that all environmental parameters are adhered to through regular monitoring,” expressed Franck Peyron, General Manager of TransJamaican Highway Ltd. “The Phase 1B leg is another milestone on our 35 year concession, and we look forward to facilitating greater numbers of commuters from the May Pen area, as well as, other western sections of the island once construction is complete,” Peyron concluded.
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