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JM | Nov 13, 2020

Ahead of more rains, NWA closes ‘impassable, dangerous’ Gordon Town Road

Gavin Riley

Gavin Riley / Our Today

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Gordon Town Road, the main thoroughfare through the rural St Andrew community, has been crippled in some sections—particularly here, at Stand Up Hill, where the roadway caved in after torrential rains associated with Tropical Storm Eta last weekend. (Photo: Facebook @JulietHolnessJA)

The National Works Agency (NWA) is advising the travelling public that effective immediately the Gordon Town road in St. Andrew is closed in the vicinity of Stand Up Hill.

The agency, in a statement on Friday (November 13), noted that the roadway is not safe for use by any mode of transportation.

A section of the road embankment failed over the weekend, following heavy rains associated with Tropical Storm Eta, which reduced the roadway to less than a driving lane.

National Works Agency (NWA) Communication and Customer Services Manager, Stephen Shaw, argued that the breakaway poses a grave risk to motorised and pedestrian traffic urging residents to avoid the area.

If persons need to travel between Gordon Town and other locations, they are encouraged to use the Irish Town or Newcastle Road which passes through Silver Hill Gap, Content and Guava Ridge.

Continuing, Shaw said that while the NWA recognises that the detour is much longer than the ordinary route, it is the only safe, accessible and practical way available at this time.

Communication and Customer Services Manager at the NWA, Stephen Shaw.

He explained the agency has identified an alternative roadway through Savage Pen, however, extensive work is required to make the parochial road traversable in sections.

The preparation of Savage Pen Road, according to Shaw, is contingent on the weather over the upcoming days, which is forecast to produce more rains.

In light of this, the NWA is reminding the public to remain vigilant when using roadways located in hilly terrain like Gordon Town and neighbouring settlements as well as to obey the prohibition order now in place in relation to Gordon Town road.

Juliet Holness, Member of Parliament for East Rural St Andrew, the constituency in which Gordon Town falls, assessed the damage at Stand Up Hill and said she was given the NWA’s assurance that the thoroughfare is being treated as a top priority.

East Rural St Andrew MP, Juliet Holness, assessing the damage caused by TS Eta rains along a section of the Gordon Town Road on Tuesday. (Photo: Facebook @JulietHolnessJA)

“I am at Standup Hill Gordon Town Road meeting with residents and assessing the breakaway. The NWA has indicated that this breakaway is being prioritized and discussions have already begun for a solution. We are also looking at an alternative route through Savage Pen until the issue is resolved,” she wrote in a Facebook post on Tuesday.

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