The Ministry of Transport and Works is reporting that the impact of the damage to the road infrastructure across the country has been extremely significant, amounting to approximately$12 billion. Minister of Transport and Works, Mike Henry, indicated the extent of the damage after officials within the Ministry met to assess the damage to the island’s road network following the passage of Tropical Storm Nicole. The report has since been submitted to cabinet for further discussion. He said that several sections of the island’s road network in various parishes still remain impassable due to landslides, breakaways, flooding and other damages.
The Fording at the Harbour View Bridge was significantly damaged during Tropical Storm Nicole.
Initial reports from the National Works Agency (NWA) were that more than 70 roads were impassable following the deluge, 53 of which were critical roads, but the Minister said that the clearing of roads and other access-related measures and general emergency responses were automatically activated once the storm had subsided, but thereafter “the overall response needs to be fully structured and defined in order to achieve the required levels of all-round efficiency and effectiveness.”
Since the passage of the Storm, the Minister, accompanied by technical personnel from the National Works Agency (NWA), has toured most of the parishes across the island to get a first-hand account of the damage that has been sustained in many areas. Significant damage has been done to the fording at the Dry River Bridge in Harbour View, resulting in loss of connection of the eastern section of the island with the corporate area, but it was quickly restored with the assistance of the personnel from the National Works Agency.
Personnel from the National Works Agency (NWA) Team working assiduously to repair the Fording at the Harbour View Bridge to restore connection of Kingston with the Eastern section of the island.
The Mandela Highway was also reduced to single lane traffic after the west-bound lane (heading into St. Catherine) was inundated; the Bog Walk Gorge was flooded; the Junction Road was closed and other major damage was done to critical corridors across the island.
The Minister said that many of the roads damaged during the inundation associated with Tropical Storm Nicole were already set aside for major improvements under the Jamaica Infrastructure Development Project, which will now be expedited, weather permitting, and pending the timely release of funds from the Finance Ministry.