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Roadworks On Course For Summer Finish

By SANCHESKA BROWN Tribune Staff Reporter sbrown@tribunemedia.net THE NEW Providence Road Improvement Project is on target to be completed by the summer, Ministry of Works officials promised yesterday. Ministry spokeswoman Shenique Albury said despite key roads being re-opened for the Christmas, bringing road works to a halt, the project is still expected to be completed by the second quarter of this year. "We are still aiming to wrap up and complete the project by the summer of this year." she said. "One thing persons would notice in comparison to last year and this year, is that we are not working in as much areas. Last year we had quite a bit of areas open, I think at one point we had about ten different areas we were working in. We have now gotten to the point where we have crossed the halfway mark. We are not working in as much areas and most of these areas have gotten up to the first level of asphalt. "The main areas we are working on now are Baillou Hill Road South, Prince Charles Drive, Market Street and a portion of Wulff Road. They are the main areas we are using to wrap up the project." The NPIIP has drawn the ire of motorists, who have had to suffer long detours and massive traffic jams; shop owners, who claim their businesses have suffered and in some cases had to close because of a lack of access for customers; and the road workers themselves, who threatened to walk off the job last year, claiming poor treatment. Most have criticised the timing of the initiative, claiming a more staggered approach to tackling the individual sections of the project would have had a less negative impact. Some have also compared the NPIIP to the Baha Mar and airport gateway projects. Ms Albury said it is unfair to compare the projects to NPIIP. "This is something we need the public to understand, those projects are very different from us. We are building in an area that is already urbanised. It is a lot more challenging and difficult than an area that is basically just green field and brand new," she said. "It is the difference between building a brand new home rather than renovating. We have to manage people, we have to manage traffic. Baha Mar and the Airport Gateway did not have those factors." The Ministry also announced the following road closures. As of yesterday, Prince Charles Drive between College Gardens Road and Winters Road near Breath of Life Preschool is closed. St Augustine's College (SAC) back entrance on Prince Charles Drive will be closed to allow underground works. Parents can access SAC from College Garden Road and Springfield Road. Motorists should divert through Beatrice Ave, Sea Breeze Lane and Fox Hill Road. In order to relieve traffic congestion, temporary two-way traffic will be implemented on Baillou Hill Road from Duke Street to Brougham Street, beginning today. The Wulff Road/Kemp Road junction remains closed until January 25. Motorists should divert through Chesapeake Road and Jerome Ave back to Wulff Road.

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