It was Christmas 2012.
Single mom, Cheryl Alexander, lived with her four children in a small house in Jacob’s Hill, Wallerfield blocked around with plywood and galvanise sheets.
Two months after the loop behind Acton Court in Diego Martin was temporarily closed to facilitate the highway expansion project, officials of the Ministry of Works and Infrastructure say they are now ready for the commissioning ceremony. In a telephone interview on Monday, director of the Highways Division Roger Ganesh confirmed the completion of road works in the area and said they were now awaiting the ministry’s decision on when the road would be reopened.
The next phase of the expansion project, to construct a flyover from Powder Magazine to Columbus Circle in Westmoorings, is set to start shortly, Ganesh said, adding a design consultant was expected to be selected by the end of this month. Anticipating that it will take approximately three months to complete the design and a further three months to complete the tendering process, Ganesh said he was hopeful that construction on this phase will begin by January.
Asked about the budget for this phase of the project, Ganesh said while the final figure would be affected by the design, the estimated cost is $100 million. Ganesh expects the flyover will be a quicker commute for drivers going to and from the western peninsula and become a crucial link for people in Diego Martin, Petit Valley, Powder Magazine, Carenage, Westmoorings and Chaguaramas.
Claiming the temporary changes to the traffic routes in Diego Martin had been working “great and things were going good,” Ganesh said he was concerned about drivers exceeding the speed limit and the reckless driving that had been witnessed since the expansion project was completed. “Apart from those two things, we have had a great response from everyone,” he said.
Also on the ministry’s agenda is a plan to bring a consultant on board in December to begin work on extending the Diego Martin Highway from Diamond Vale to Bagatelle. This has already received Cabinet approval, Ganesh said. He admitted, however, that this phase would require more time, as a feasibility study needed to be carried out and property acquisition talks held with those affected, including home and business owners.