The third lane being established on Waterfront Drive is expected to be ready for use today, Tuesday, December 29, so it may fulfil its purpose of alleviating the traffic congestion usually seen in Road Town from the western end of Tortola.
Workers were observed finalising works to the project on Monday.
Director of the Public Works Department, Jeremy Hodge, said in an interview with BVI News they’re now completing the asphalt work to fill the area that was widened.
“[Afterwards], we are going to mark out the road to incorporate the third lane heading towards the Admin [Drive traffic lights] … It’s basically just to upgrade the traffic because part of the problem is that we were having a lot of traffic eastbound heading into town, especially at busier hours,” Hodge explained.
“So the complete project was to help to create a second lane so that people who are eastbound coming from the west would be able to have two lanes as you start to approach the Craft Alive area heading to the lights. So that would allow more capacity to reduce the back up of traffic heading from the west,” he added.
New slope design explained
The road improvements also include a new slope design — which is located just after Craft Alive — for motorists heading towards the westerly.
Hodge said this new design became part of the plan after it was observed that motorists were stopping in the area on a consistent basis, therefore impeding traffic and creating a major congestion problem.
“Why we did that slope — people heading westbound, sometimes they want to pull off to run in to buy some okras or something from someone. You notice there was always somebody stopping there to do something. So, while it’s not an area to basically park, it’s an area that gives persons allowance to pull off whether you get to pick up someone from off the sidewalk or you’re going to reach out your hand to receive a little bag of okras that you want to buy instead of stopping in the main road to do that,” he explained.
New road markings to assist motorists
The Public Works director further said the new road markings will allow for motorists to have a smooth transition into the new road requirements.
He also said other measures will be taken to ensure motorists fully comply with the new traffic arrangements and to ensure they utilise the new design in the appropriate manner to gain the intended results.
He said: “It will be clearly defined and marked on the road. They may need cones to at least help guide motorists in the interim and I assume that the Ministry will be publishing something via social media to display how the area should be used. But really and truly with the markers on the road, it is going to be clear. It’s going to have arrows on the road and it’s going to have a white and yellow paint to show where the lanes are divided.”
The project began on July 7 and was undertaken by Accurate Construction and Jason Fonseca. The initial duration for the project was approximated to last about 10 weeks.
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