Friday, December 15, 2017

Sinanan: Repairs to sinkholes

done overnight

‘emergency job’: Minister of Works and Transport Rohan Sinanan, from right, councillor Doodnath Mayrhoo and Fyzabad MP Dr Lackram Bodoe look at roadworks being conducted yesterday after three sections of the Solomon Hochoy Highway collapsed near Mosquito Creek, San Fernando. —Photo: SANDHYA SANTOO

REPAIRS to the collapsed road that crea­ted chaos along the Solomon Hochoy High­- way near the cremation site at Mosquito Creek were expected to be comple­ted last night.

This was the word from Minister of Works and Transport Rohan Sinanan, who visi­ted the site yesterday, with officials from the Ministry and the National Infrastructure Development Company Ltd (Nidco).

On Wednesday night, a hole developed along the road which caused problems for commuters.

Traffic had to be di­ver­ted while workmen and heavy machinery were mobilised for repairs.

Two other holes formed later.

Sinanan said fire burned from one side of the road to the other, damaging plastic pipes beneath the roads.

Metal sheets were placed on the road to allow the flow of traffic while heavy equipment worked to replace the pipes.

The Sunday Express un­derstands the roads were closed during in­ter­­- vals while works were done.

When asked why concrete cylinders were not used instead of the hard plastic, Sinanan said this was something approved by the engineers and would have been proven and tested.

However, the result of the collapsed roadway was as a result of the incomplete portion of the highway.

“There was a bush fire that caused some damage to the underground pipes. It happened in three areas and the ministry, with the assistance of Nidco, has given the assurance that by (last night) everything will be back to normal.

“Once the plastic tu­bing underneath is damaged, it's only a matter of time before it collapses. This highway is ongoing and what it was, was unfinished work that by the time the highway is finished and the ends are capped, then we shouldn't get the problem again,” he said.

He said a contractor had to be brought in to assist with the work.

Sinanan did not give an estimated cost, saying this circumstance was an “emergency” and “it shouldn't be too much of an expensive job because as you can see, there are few equipment. What we are really paying for is the time because a lot of the work has to be done in the night,” he said.

Sinanan said resumption works for the highway extension to Point Fortin are expected to begin sometime in June.

He said currently, a review of tenders is being evaluated and the award of the contract will be announced soon.

Member of Parliament for Fyzabad Dr Lackram Bodoe was also present during the site visit.

He said he was pleased with the works being conducted.

‘Galicia' still operating


On the issue of the MV Super-Fast Galicia, Sinanan said the vessel continues to operate and will do so until April 21.

He said the new Port Authority board is working towards having contin­gency measures in place.

He said he should be given an update by today on this.

“The board, as we speak, is having a meeting. I know they are hav­­ing some inspection of some vessels and I'm hoping by (today) they should give me some of the options that are available, but they are working to ensure every­thing is done,” he said.

The owners of the Galicia, Trasmed, notified Government last month of their intention to withdraw services over failure to reach an agreement other than a month-to-month lease under which the vessel operated on the seabridge for a year and a half.