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Constant land slippage a cause for concern on South Leeward Highway

Constant land slippage a cause for concern on South Leeward Highway


Active consideration is being given to placing a structural Rock Face Netting to remedy an issue of constant land slippage in the Questelles/Campden Park area.

In an interview with SEARCHLIGHT last week, resident engineer and consultant to the South Leeward Highway Rehabilitation project Whitfield Clarke said that Dipcon Engineering Services is considering options that would fix the ongoing land slippage problem that mostly occurs after heavy rainfall.

Since the South Leeward Highway rehabilitation project began in August 2014, Dipcon Engineering Services have made attempts to widen the road to reduce congestion and allow for a smooth flow of traffic.{{more}}

However, there has been an issue where rocks fall on to the road at Shuffler, Questelles, sometimes fully blocking both lanes of the road.

Motorists have since raised concerns about the slippage.

However, during last week’s interview, Clarke stated that none have made official reports to the company.

The project consultant explained that the slippage came after a decision was made to cut into the hillside at Shuffler, which he said was more practical than constructing large retaining walls on the hillside below the road, because of the presence of houses there and the excessive steepness of the slopes.

According to Clarke, several different soil conditions were encountered during the process and the project was further complicated by frequent ground water flow along slip planes that resulted in increased instability in the area.

“Hence the slippages that we now see,” he added.

Clarke stated that in addition, several options, “both hard and soft measures or a combination…” are currently under active consideration for implementation “as soon as possible” in the coming months.

“These options include among others, the installation of a structural rockfall netting on the slope face and using gabion basket protection on the verge.”

Clarke disclosed that final decisions would be based on safety, initial cost, maintenance cost, land acquisition cost and environmental implications.

He stated that there are also plans to extend the project beyond Layou; however, the Kingstown to Layou phase of the project should be finished by early next year.

Dipcon Engineering Services Ltd currently has offices in Trinidad, St Vincent and the Grenadines and Guyana, from where the regional operations are managed. (AS)