WORKS and Transport Minister Rohan Sinanan said his ministry is working to have temporary bypasses alongside the Manzanilla to Mayaro Main Road open to vehicular traffic in early January.
The temporary road runs parallel to what is left of the existing flood-ravaged road.
Construction of the road is at an advanced stage but water from the swamp on one side and the sea on the opposite side, has been creating more challenges.
Sinanan said the biggest challenge was capping the water breaches. There are two more breaches with water left to drain and seal before the temporary could be completed. Certain details of the project may have to be adjusted to work around the water challenges.
In November, heavy rains and flooding caused major parts of the road to collapse. Drivers used alternative routes through Cunapo, Biche and Rio Claro to get to Mayaro.
At a site visit and media tour on Friday morning, Sinanan explained that the two-package $12 million project should bring some ease to residents and commuters.
The first part of the project is completed and the second is 80 per cent done.
“What we are doing here is re-establish connectivity. This is just a temporary roadway design for the more permanent solution is ongoing. There is consultation between the ministry’s PURE unit (Programme for Upgrading Roads Efficiency Unit), coastal unit, drainage, and the IMA (Institute of Marine Affairs) and we are using all the information that we have to come up with the design to suit the area and take into consideration with the new norm.”
He said the ministry knows this is an area that is challenged because of the volume of water on both sides of the road and severe flooding after heavy rains.
Even though there isn’t much the ministry can do to prevent future breaches along the temporary route, Sinanan said a contractor will be on-site in case one develops.
“We hope to close the breaches in the coming days and then we have to compact and fill the second part of the road. The aim is to give access when school opens so children travelling from Sangre Grande to Mayaro or Mayaro to Sangre Grande can use it.
“So with the design, there are limitations with the amount of work we can do. However, we are working with the different agencies to come up with a solution that would cater to it.” Once the designs are completed, government would invite tenders by the beginning of February.
“We are trying to fast-track the permanent solution and get out of the ground before the rainy season starts in 2023.”
He said the ministry is also looking at creating alternative routes to similar locations threatened by major natural disasters after prolonged rain.
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