The planned eight-month closure of the east and westbound approaches to the Three Miles intersection in St Andrew is cause for concern, according to some residents along portions of the alternative route.
They say that in addition to the expected high volume of traffic and the noise that is sure to come with it, they are mainly worried about the safety of schoolchildren who use the roadways daily.
As a result of the closure, traffic will not be permitted through the Three Miles intersection. Motorists heading towards Six Miles from the direction of downtown Kingston, along Spanish Town Road, should use Waltham Park Road, Bay Farm Road, and on to Penwood Road, exiting at Spanish Town Road in the vicinity of Amalgamated Distributors.
The opposite would obtain for persons travelling from Six Miles, along Spanish Town Road, towards downtown Kingston.
The National Works Agency (NWA) has advised that as of tomorrow, areas in the vicinity of the Portia Simpson Miller Square (Three Miles) will be closed off to facilitate the ongoing bridge construction works at the location.
“The closure is expected to last, at least, for the next eight months,” Stephen Shaw, manager of communications and customer service at the NWA, said in a statement to the media.
He said that the overall project, which includes the widening of the road from two to four lanes and the installation of a new sewer and water and storm water drainage features, is valued at US$56.5 million.
A double-tier overpass bridge is being constructed at Three Miles as part of the Hagley Park Road-Improvement Project.
But while some residents do not mind the unusual attention being given to their community, some pointed out that the noise and reckless drivers will cause terror for young schoolchildren.
“Look at that. Those children have nowhere to walk but in the road, and that is my bone of contention because while they fix some of the roads for this purpose, for which all of us around here are happy, there is still no sidewalk for the children and old folks in particular,” said a resident, who only gave his name as George.
Sharon Brown, a resident on Bay Farm Road, said that she was mostly concerned about congestion.
“I can only imagine what the traffic is going to be like. Congestion is going to be really heavy, but as they say, it’s all in the name of development,” said Brown.
Her neighbour, Roy Walters, countered that he saw no major issues with the traffic changes, saying that he did not see a problem.
“I don’t see an issue here. It’s about time the country developed, and this is only a small step,” he said.