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Portion of Windward Highway now closed

Portion of Windward Highway now closed

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The portion of the Windward Highway between the Calder gap and Peruvian Vale is now closed, to allow for the construction of a road to bypass a section of the highway that has exhibited cracks and is sinking in some areas.

Julian Francis, Minister of State in the Ministry of Transport{{more}} and Works said on Sunday, that the highway should re-open on Thursday morning, when the bypass road is expected to be ready, allowing for construction work on the damaged road to begin.

“I am asking for the cooperation of the travelling public… it is better to be safe than sorry.

“I know it is going to inconvenience those persons living north of Argyle and even persons living south of Argyle, who have to travel north, but it is unavoidable….” Francis said, during a broadcast carried on Sunday afternoon on several radio stations simultaneously.

He said that commuters tavelling to the north of the island are required to turn left at Calder from Mt Pleasant, travelling through Mesopotamia to Yambou, then exit at Peruvian Vale on to the Windward highway.

“Those coming from north; that is, from country to town, when you get to Peruvian Vale you turn right and you follow the reverse route… and you have a choice when you get to Crick’s Corner because you are heading to town; you may wish to go up to Belmont, go down the Fair Hall Road and exit on Calliaqua, or you may turn left at Crick’s Corner, go down Calder and exit at Mt Pleasant and take the windward highway back to town, but that’s a choice for you travelling.”

Some time last Friday, November 21, cracks developed on a portion of the highway, and continued to deteriorate over the weekend, forcing the closure of that part of the road.

Francis said that engineers advised him, that the breakage was as a result of ground water and fill in the area, which caused the road to worsen over time.

“The engineers will immediately set about dealing with the problem that we have there, they have advised me that they would have to excavate all of the soil there and put back in proper material with proper drainage.

This, the minister said he was advised, would take about three weeks to complete.

“So I leave that aspect of it with the engineers and I feel confident that we are not going to be off the Windward highway for too long a period,” Francis said.

The Minister made an appeal for residents of Calder to park their vehicles off the road, in an effort to accommodate the increase in traffic in the area over the next few days.

The minister also advised commuters to add an extra half an hour to their travel time, because of the diversions. (JJ)

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