Water project will disrupt City traffic
Officials associated with the water mains replacement project of the Barbados Water Authority (BWA) are pleading with the public to comply with traffic changes as they carry out work along Roebuck Street, the City, beginning tomorrow.
Today, project engineer of the BWA’s project execution unit Shelly Parris said that phase of the project will be carried out in two stages. Stage one should last between three to four weeks and the overall project is expected to be completed within two months.
The cost for this section of the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB)-funded project is estimated at $2.7 million. The entire water mains project is estimated at just over US$32 million.
Parris explained that the entire project would see the replacement of approximately 49 kilometres of water mains across the island.
Along Roebuck Street, they will be replacing about one kilometre of 16 inch and six inch diameter mains.
“The extent of the work on Roebuck Street is from the junction of Palmetto, High Street and Magazine Lane with Roebuck Street to the junction of Roebuck Street with Country Road,” she said.
The first phase, she explained, would be from the junction of High Street, Magazine Lane and Palmetto Street with Roebuck Street, to the junction of Roebuck Street with Crumpton Street and Pinfold Street.
Parris also explained that the method being used to replace the mains would not involve open trenches but horizontal directional drilling and slip lining instead.
“This horizontal directional drilling means that we will not be doing the typical open cut trenches, which means we will be using equipment to drill under the earth and install the high density polyethylene to replace the main,” explained Parris.
Parris gave the assurance that the disruptions should be minimal, adding that they have already been in touch with business operators in the area.
“The [business operators] understand that we have the work to do because this main . . . is over 150 years old and they would know the impact that it has whenever we have to do a repair. The last time we [had an outage] we were out as long as about 72 hours. So this replacement will be looking to relieve us of that problem of the extended outage associated with such a large diameter main feeding Bridgetown,” she said, adding that businesses would be kept abreast of the development on a regular basis through various means.
Roger Gill, general manager of Infra Inc, subcontractors of the project under the Jada Builders Inc. Group, explained the traffic diversions, highlighting the need to close Roebuck Street to vehicular traffic in order to effectively carry out the mains replacement in that area.
“If you come through Marhill Street, we want you to keep left all the way and exit on to Rickett Street. You will not be able to come unto Palmetto and Roebuck Street,” said Gill.
“All the traffic coming up High Street will be diverted left unto James Street. All the traffic coming through Magazine Lane will be diverted right and go Synagogue Lane. The traffic coming unto Spry Street from St Michael’s Row, you will be diverted through Dottin’s Alley, and the traffic coming through Church Village to the Central Bank will go on to Garnet Street, which will take you back unto St Michael’s Row,”
He said: “The reason we have all these diversions in place (is because) the equipment needs to work efficiently . . . and the 16 inch main needs to be strung out on the opposite side of the street and we have workmen going back and forth, so we don’t want any accidents and we don’t want the work to be delayed”.
“We would like the pedestrians to be mindful and careful. I know they will be curious . . . we will take all the necessary precautions to prevent any accidents to the pedestrians,” said Gill.
He said up to 60 people could be working on the project at any one time.
The final phases of the multi-million dollar development, which started in February this year, will be in the Pine Boulevard and Tweedside Road areas, following the completion of Roebuck Street.