Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Communications and Works Anthony McMaster has sought to explain the reasons behind a temporary roadblock on the James Walter Francis dual carriageway on Tortola.
The intersection which joins Wickham’s Cay ІІ to the road leading to Pasea Estate’s residential community (commonly called Sports Club Road) has been blocked with concrete barriers over the last few weeks.
In an interview with BVI News, McMaster said the blockage is a safety measure.
He said the traffic lights at that intersection have not been functioning since the September 2017 hurricanes so there have been several near-encounters of traffic accidents.
He said motorists often attempt to crossover on either side of the dual carriageway at the intersection.
“We have had quite a bit of near-misses in that area and that is part of the reason why those [barriers] were placed there,” he reasoned.
“And since we have not been able to replace the stoplight at this junction and we continue to see more and more near-misses, we thought it best to just stop the traffic to ensure that everyone stays protected for now,” McMaster explained.
He added: “It is to assist with traffic control because if you are travelling eastward when you get to the intersection between Tortola Sports Club and The Moorings, it is almost like a blind corner,” he said.
“And because it depends on the speed you are going, by the time you get around the corner you are basically at the junction, where you have vehicles coming out from The Moorings or even out of Tortola Sports Club.”
Waterfront Drive traffic lights also damaged
Similarly, the traffic lights on Waterfront Drive were also affected by the hurricanes.
However, McMaster said traffic is not as dangerous at that intersection compared the junction on the highway.
“The motoring public has been able to self-police and we don’t see the type of challenge that we have at that intersection as we have seen at Wickham’s Cay ІІ,” he explained.
McMaster said the Ministry is now waiting for funds to repair and replace traffic lights.
He did not know the overall cost to replace the traffic lights.
In the meantime, the Permanent Secretary is urging road users to continue to exercise caution and drive within the specified speed limits to avoid any accidents.
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