Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : August 8th 2013 Contents A8
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for AUGUST 07th 2013
Diego Martin Central MP Amery Browne is calling
for action to fix a ten-foot deep crater, measuring
20 feet by 30 feet, which was dug by construction
workers last October at the side of the Western
Main Road in Cocorite and has been left open for
The large hole is located yards from residents
houses at Powder Magazine Phase 1 on the eastbound
verge of the Western Main Road and is an accident
risk for pedestrians and motorists.
It is also an eyesore, located on the opposite side
of the highway from West Mall, where a culvert chan-
nels water from a drain underneath the highway.
Before the commencement of construction work,
a small footbridge allowed pedestrians to cross the
gap to access the sidewalk at the side of the three-
lane highway. This was replaced by a temporary walk-
way, but residents have complained that it moves
"like a suspension bridge" when they are crossing
it. When the T&T Guardian visited the site, the walk-
way appeared weak and liable to collapse.
The crater was left without safety barriers for some
months after incensed residents pulled down a tem-
porary wooden barrier in protest at the lack of activity
at the site.
Motor accidents have also been reported at the
site and concerned residents fear worse could follow
as children and elderly residents walk across the area
every day, and the traffic has increased with school
on July/August vacation.
A resident, who did not wish to be identified, said:
"The Diego Martin Regional Corporation has neglected
us. The river and waste water is just pouring into the
hole and it smells. There used to be a bus stop right
here but they moved that away because of the dan-
Browne told the T&T Guardian he had asked the
Ministry of Works and Infrastructure why the project
had not been completed.
"They indicated there was some problem with the
contract they issued and said the scope of works has
to be varied and a new design has to be done for a
culvert," Browne said.
"But someone with a degree of sense would have
to explain why it has taken them from October until
now to be sorted. While they twiddle their thumbs,
all the motorists of the western peninsula, pedestrians
and the residents of Powder Magazine Phase 1 have
to endure grave risk."
Contacted on the matter, Roger Ganesh, director
of the Highways Division, told the T&T Guardian
the project---part of a four-phase extension to extend
the Diego Martin Highway---was intended to upgrade
the drainage in the area.
"You will recall that when there is intense rain,
the eastbound verge of the highway becomes sub-
merged under water. We don t want that to happen
again," Ganesh said.
Asked about the length of the delay and the reason
for the stalled project, Ganesh said when contractors
excavated the area they discovered a culvert that was
not in the plans they were working from, since the
plans had not been updated for 30-40 years.
"At that point we had to stop the contractors and
discussed the situation with a consultant," he said.
Ganesh said Trintoplan Consultants Ltd, the firm
redesigning the plans, was contracted since March
but is yet to provide a new design so the works can
He said he had spoken to Trintoplan and was
informed the designs would be ready within the next
two weeks. He confirmed that the process had been
complicated by the presence of underground cables,
water lines and gas pipes.
He said on completion of the project, the culvert
would be entirely underground, with increased
drainage capacity and water flowing safely under the
highway and out towards the sea. The hole would
be refilled and the area repaved, making it safer for
motorists and pedestrians.
He said the location also had issues with traffic
safety in that there were inadequate places for
motorists leaving Powder Magazine Phase 1 to safely
enter the highway. Those going west to Diego Martin
have to cross three busy lanes of cars. He confirmed
that a flyover and interchange, planned by the Ministry
of Works would be in place in 2014.
Residents, however, have not been informed as to
the causes of the delay, leading to anger within the
When questioned on this, Ganesh said he was
looking to establish "a sustainable way of providing
information, by putting up an information booth
where we can field questions and answer residents
He said a booth had been temporarily placed at
the commencement of the project last year, but that
residents now needed an update on the delays.
Stalled Cocorite project creates hazard...
Cocorite residents Roy "Isa" Ottley, left, and Aaron
Bon point to the massive crater along the Western
Main Road near the Powder Magazine Phase 1
intersection on Tuesday. PHOTO: MARCUS GONZALES
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