Right road - Police traffic boss welcomes plan to create Seaview Gardens bypass
Head of the Police Public Safety and Traffic Enforcement Branch (PSTEB), Senior Superintendent Calvin Allen, is anxiously awaiting the construction of the planned bypass to ease the flow of traffic being detoured from the Portia Simpson Miller Square, the most problematic of the three major Corporate Area corridors being expanded.
Prime Minister Andrew Holness, last week, announced the construction of the bypass at a cost of US$1 million. It will start at Chesterfield Drive in Seaview Gardens and will connect Spanish Town Road with Marcus Garvey Drive.
Work on the new road hit a snag last week when the construction workers broke a sewage line, causing raw sewage to flow into Seaview Gardens, which already suffers from poor air quality primarily due to the nearby Riverton City dump.
"Construction (of the bypass) should take about six weeks, and all of that traffic that would now come from Six Miles to go through Bay Farm will be able to turn right, engage that road and they are on Marcus Garvey Drive in no time. They can then go straight downtown or turn on East Avenue and head into Half-Way Tree," noted Allen.
"So this is something that the Public Safety and Traffic Enforcement Branch is looking forward to, and we see it as a very good move," added Allen.
For Allen, the new road will keep motorists off some detours that are not naturally safe.
"So we are not only going for traffic flow, but also for safety," Allen told The Sunday Gleaner.
Two Saturdays ago, motorists travelling on one of the detours through the often volatile Majesty Gardens had a scare as gunmen opened fire about 9 p.m.
When the shooting ended, 41-year-old Louis Gordon was found with several gunshot wounds. He died on the spot.
According to Allen, the closure of the Portia Simpson Miller Square, scheduled for eight months, is providing more challenges than those posed by the Mandela Highway and Constant Spring Road.
He said the PSTEB, although in its embryonic stage, has been managing the traffic challenges associated with the road constructions and the back-to-school season.
Allen said members of the PSTEB are deployed as early as 4:30 a.m. at strategic locations to regulate traffic flow, especially around Portia Simpson Miller Square.