Mon | May 27, 2024

NWA assures business community of adequate flood-mitigation plans in Grange Lane expansion

Published:Saturday | April 13, 2024 | 12:10 AMRuddy Mathison/Gleaner Writer
Expansion works under way along Grange Lane in Portmore, St Catherine, on Friday.
Expansion works under way along Grange Lane in Portmore, St Catherine, on Friday.
Expansion works under way along Grange Lane in Portmore, St Catherine, on Friday.
Expansion works under way along Grange Lane in Portmore, St Catherine, on Friday.
Expansion works under way along Grange Lane in Portmore, St Catherine, on Friday.
Expansion works under way along Grange Lane in Portmore, St Catherine, on Friday.
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The National Works Agency (NWA) has assuaged concerns by local business operators, who are fearful that the elevation of the roadway in ongoing works on Grange Lane in Portmore could result in their properties being flooded.

On Thursday, the NWA held a meeting with representatives of the business community to address their concerns.

Stephen Shaw, manager of communication and customer service at the NWA, said the misunderstanding regarding drainage provisions had been resolved, with plans in place to install drainage features along the corridor to collect stormwater effectively.

“They would have left the meeting with the understanding that this is no longer an issue. We explained that on both sides of the corridor, there will be drainage features to collect stormwater. There are going to be proper inspection chambers, manholes, and culverts constructed to facilitate drainage maintenance,” he said, adding that these were part of the original plan.

Four-lane upgrade

The $925-million project, which is 25 per cent complete, aims to upgrade Grange Lane into a four-lane thoroughfare, extending from its origin to just beyond Augusta Drive in Independence City.

“We expect that by the end of the summer, a significant percentage of the work would have been completed,” said Shaw.

Additionally, he revealed plans to address sections of Newlands Road and facilitate the installation of fibre-optic cables for government vehicles, schools, and other users in the area.

“The sidewalks will be disabled friendly and some light poles currently in the way will be removed,” Shaw said.

Portmore Mayor Leon Thomas, who attended the meeting, expressed regret that the municipal corporation had not been provided with a project diagram by the NWA, hindering its ability to address the concerns of the roughly 40 business operators.

He, however, acknowledged the NWA’s commitment to presenting the project plan at an upcoming infrastructure meeting and conducting a town hall meeting to update residents.

Conroy McFarlane, owner of Auto King and representative of the business operators, expressed satisfaction with the outcome of the meeting, particularly regarding assurances related to flood-prevention measures.

“We came out feeling satisfied that they have put things in place to ensure that we don’t have any flooding,” he said.

McFarlane also noted the assurance of regular cleaning of main drains to facilitate rapid stormwater runoff.

Two upcoming power outages on April 14 and April 27 to facilitate the removal of the light poles were mentioned by Shaw, indicating necessary adjustments for the project’s progression.

ruddy.mathison@gleanerjm.com