On November 5, 2018 the bridge was closed by the National Works Agency (NWA) for repairs due to a breakaway, but work is yet to begin.
“It is now three weeks since the closure and there is no sign of any work being done. This is unacceptable.” Mr Vaz said. He further indicated that discussions with the NWA and other government officials on this matter have been to no avail as he was told that the design phase is yet to be completed.
He said the bridge had become unsafe for all users and was in urgent need of repair and this has necessitated the lockdown, and having regard for its importance to access to the Parish capital and other towns, it was expected that work would have started immediately.
With the Christmas season fast approaching, the MP says heavy traffic entering Savanna La Mar and going through to Grange Hill and Negril could encounter serious congestion if the situation is not properly addressed now by the authorities.
“Since the closure of the bridge, the alternate route through Sweet River, Amity and Torrington to Dunbar’s River has become a daily traffic jam.” Mr. Vaz said.
He points out that the effort to upgrade the alternate routes has been very slow and more signage needs to be erected. This, he said, makes it difficult for commuters to detour with relative ease.
“The Government needs to treat the Paradise Bridge repairs as an emergency and consideration should be given to the rehabilitation, including street lighting, of the alternate route”.
Mr. Vaz said since the closure of the bridge two road fatalities have been recorded by the JCF along the alternate route.
“Many motorists are not familiar with this road. I cannot stress the importance for the Government to place special emphasis on the repairs of the bridge and to do what is absolutely necessary to rehabilitate the alternate route in the interim.” Mr Vaz said.
- Countries: Jamaica