New portion of Mosquito Creek road opens

It was a part of the high­way which re­quired the most tech­ni­cal en­gi­neer­ing but af­ter years of in­fra­struc­tur­al fail­ures, pack­age five of the Solomon Ho­choy High­way Ex­ten­sion was fi­nal­ly opened to­day.

Works Min­is­ter Ro­han Sinanan and Point Fortin MP Ed­mund Dil­lon were on hand to cut a cer­e­mo­ni­al rib­bon at Mos­qui­to Creek where they ush­ered a smooth flow of traf­fic along the bustling South Trunk Road in La Ro­maine.

For years com­muters have been com­plain­ing about the in­tru­sion of salt­wa­ter from the Gulf of Paria spilling on­to the roads and man­groves.

Speak­ing to Guardian Me­dia, Sinanan said the new­ly opened por­tion was part of 12 pack­ages which were award­ed to lo­cal con­trac­tors this year.

 

 

“To­day we have made a huge step since when the high­way start­ed in 2009 / 2010. This pack­age five was the most chal­leng­ing pack­age be­cause this creek has been a prob­lem for cit­i­zens since the 1950s. We have al­ways had a prob­lem with the spring tide, high tide en­croach­ing on the man­groves through the road­way,” Sinanan said.

He com­mend­ed the con­trac­tor Ju­nior Sam­my Con­trac­tors for com­plet­ing the project. Say­ing the high­way cost tax­pay­ers $280 mil­lion, Sinanan said the en­tire High­way is 40 per cent com­plete and by the third quar­ter of next year, the en­tire high­way project will be com­plet­ed from San Fer­nan­do to Port-of-Spain.

He said he was par­tic­u­lar­ly proud of Ju­nior Sam­my’s con­struc­tion ca­pa­bil­i­ties as many peo­ple be­lieved it was im­pos­si­ble to el­e­vate the road lev­el two me­tres high­er than the man­groves.

“We are ac­tu­al­ly in the man­groves and I want to com­mend the con­trac­tor. Ju­nior did a fan­tas­tic job to bring us to this stage be­cause this seg­ment would have been chal­leng­ing even for OAS at that time,” he ex­plained.

Sinanan said dur­ing the con­struc­tion cer­tain ar­eas failed and the en­tire en­gi­neer­ing had to be re­done.

“I am hap­py that we had a lo­cal con­trac­tor who can ac­tu­al­ly bring this road to this lev­el for us.

This high­way cost us a sig­nif­i­cant amount of mon­ey and we paid a  high price to Ae­com con­sul­tants,” he added.

Asked what guar­an­tee could be giv­en that the qual­i­ty of work was done ac­cord­ing to in­ter­na­tion­al stan­dards, Sinanan said for­eign con­sul­tant Ae­com did the en­gi­neer­ing.

“Ae­com has a rep­u­ta­tion to pro­tect. I am not an en­gi­neer but I could ask en­gi­neers to give as­sur­ance that what­ev­er work is done here was done with the high­est in­ter­na­tion­al stan­dard,” Sinanan said.

He not­ed that there was a two-year de­fect li­a­bil­i­ty pe­ri­od in which the con­trac­tor and con­sul­tant will have a re­spon­si­bil­i­ty to re­pair any de­fects which may crop up.

Project man­ag­er for Nid­co Den­nis Har­richa­ran al­so said there were tight spec­i­fi­ca­tions as it re­lates to qual­i­ty.

“Ae­com was the su­per­vis­ing con­sul­tant.  They are a large in­ter­na­tion­al firm and they have a lot of en­gi­neers. They are re­spon­si­ble for mak­ing sure that the ma­te­ri­als and qual­i­ty of work­man­ship meet the re­quire­ments of the em­ploy­er. We are ex­pect­ed to de­liv­er the project to Ash­ton In­ter­na­tion­al stan­dards and we are re­spon­si­ble for en­sur­ing that we meet those stan­dards,” he added.

Sinanan al­so said the Wa­ter and Sewage Au­thor­i­ty had uti­lized new tech­nol­o­gy for the first time by run­ning the wa­ter pipes along­side the high­way rather than un­der­ground. He said now that one side of the high­way was open, con­trac­tors will be­gin to el­e­vate the two oth­er lanes near the sea­wall to cre­ate a dual car­riage­way.

Dil­lon al­so said the traf­fic woes ex­pe­ri­enced dai­ly on the Creek will now be over with the open­ing of the high­way. He said the open­ing will bring re­lief to thou­sands of com­muters.

 - by Radhica De Silva

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