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WASA says sorry for disruption at Croisee
WASA has apologised to the public for the inconvenience caused by work it was carrying out at the Croisee, San Juan, on Tuesday. The work, part of a massive rehabilitation programme by WASA, created major traffic congestion between Morvant and San Juan that kept many commuters waiting for long hours to get transport at the City Gate hub, Port-of-Spain, and Arima during peak hours.
Contacted on the matter, WASA corporate communications manager Ellen Lewis said the company regretted the level of inconvenience caused to commuters and drivers but said the move was unavoidable. Lewis said the Hollis Trunk Main Project was a nighttime project which involved replacing 44 kilometres of pipelines from Valencia to Port-of-Spain, one of the largest undertakings by WASA to date.
Work began in November and will run until January 2014. “There was an aspect of the project that had to be carried out during daylight hours, which is what occurred today (Tuesday). It involved interaction with high-voltage electrical lines and telephone cables, so for safety reasons work had to be done in the daytime,” Lewis said.
She conceded that WASA did not give proper notification to the general public, noting they would ensure that did not occur again. “There ought to have been better notice on our part and we do sincerely apologise for the inconvenience caused,” she said. Maxi Taxi Association president Linus Phillip told the T&T Guardian the association was informed when the works started in November but was told all the work would be carried out between 8 pm and 4 am.
He said Tuesday’s exercise surprised them because WASA did not put out an advisory on the changes. “Works have been going on 8 pm to 4 am as recent as last week. Today (Tuesday) about 3.45 pm they started digging up part of the Croisee without warning to the travelling public. Traffic had to be diverted to the main road and Fifth Street in Barataria,” Phillip said.
He said he found the move to be very disrespectful and unfair to commuters and maxi taxi drivers. He added: “I spoke to some of the drivers and they told me City Gate was in a mess. Some of them who were en route from Arima to Port-of-Spain with passengers had to return their money and turn back once they reached San Juan, because it was just too much traffic.
“A lot of drivers lost money today (Tuesday). We talking about in the peak hours.” He said what was even more upsetting was that WASA failed to contact the association after the chaos. “I left the office about 4 pm and not one phone call from WASA was received,” he said.
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