The Ministry of Infrastructure Development has highlighted four areas of immediate concern on the Philip Goldson Highway in the wake of the rains that came with the passage of a tropical wave. The road failure at Mile 28 is of particular interest, given that there has been a short-term solution for the break in the road. We spoke to the Ministry’s engineering coordinator, Evondale Moody today about the situation.
Evandale Moody, Engineering Coordinator, MIDH: “Based on the rainfall event that we had over the last two days, commencing on the 17th August we had intense rainfall during this period and as far as I am aware we had approximately 4 to 6 inches of rainfall that inundated the Central and Northern Districts. The Philip Goldson Highway that we are currently working on we have a number of culverts that we need to install along this route and one of those culverts were the one that collapsed during the rainfall event. That’s a triple culvert. It was a triple 600 mm diameter culvert whereby the two outer culverts collapsed causing the road to fail. What we did, we tried to mobilise the contractor in association with the Road Maintenance Unit from the Ministry of Infrastructure Development for them to try and ensure that we could get the road opened up back as quickly as possible, which we did. We had to fill the collapsed area with boulders in an effort to give us a temporary solution and as soon as we have these waters receding, we will go back in and install new culverts within that location.”
Moody explains that the ageing infrastructure on that major highway will be addressed in two key projects that are underway.
Evandale Moody, Engineering Coordinator, MIDH: “Along the Philip Goldson Highway, which we’re aware this highway was last upgraded in the 1980’s and so most of the culverts along this route are the old Armco culverts. And so under the Philip Goldson Highway Project that we’re currently implementing, we’re trying to replace as much of those culverts as we can. We can’t replace all of them, however, we are tying to deal with the ones that are in poor condition. This one was very unexpected because we had done some inspection on it and it was in line for us to replace however it occurred before we were even able to reach that location. As you’re aware, we have commenced this project since last year and we’re trying our best effort to try and address every area that we can in an expedited manner. However, we are stretched so thin that we have to do it in a timely fashion in an effort to have the works planned accordingly. There are still a number of those culverts that exist along the highway and so we will definitely try and address those as we move along with the project. However, this one caught us off guard and so what we have to do is to try and work on installing new culverts within this location as soon as possible.”