Premier Wayne Panton, MP Heather Bodden and MP for Infrastructure, Minister of Planning Jay Ebanks, along with National Roads Authority (NRA) Managing Director, Edward Howard, NRA Senior Superintendent for Roads, Ellington Forbes and NRA Chairman, Alric Lindsay did a general tour of the Newlands and Savannah areas on Wednesday.
Streets visited included Moonbeam Drive, Hirst Road, Keystone Street, Pennsylvania Avenue, Spotts Newlands Road, Gloria May Drive, Milton Drive, Bayfield Crescent, and Hirst Roaod.
During the tour, it was noted that, while the concerns of the residents on each street varied, they fell within broad groupings, in particular, safety issues related to speeding, drainage needs and road paving.
Premier Panton and MP Bodden were already aware of specific problems that existed, having campaigned in those areas during the elections period.
In the process of addressing a range of issues, Premier Panton acknowledged that Moonbeam Drive could benefit from an upgrade in terms of road paving. Minister of Planning, Agriculture, Housing and Infrastructure, Jay Ebanks agreed and added that he was motivated to use asphalt for more roads going forward, rather than the cheaper “chip and spray” method that had previously been used.
“Asphalt can be more versatile and can provide more value for money,” underscored the MP. “Asphalt can also last longer, sometimes up to twenty years, compared to the chip and spray roads which may last half the time.”
Looking at the nearby intersection with Hirst Road, NRA Senior Superintendent, Ellington Forbes and NRA Managing Director, Edward Howard was advised of a dilemma with flood water by a local resident. Forbes drew new markings on the property where new drain wells would be placed to help alleviate the problem.
Premier Panton also observed that, although drain wells can be extremely helpful, there were limitations to drain wells depending upon whether the water table was low or high in certain areas. He indicated further that a combination of methods would be useful, including retention basins, as an example.
The Stormwater Management Committee's 2003 report provides recommendations that are consistent with those of Premier Panton. In particular, that:
Bearing in mind that the Central Planning Authority (CPA) approves various developments, it is hoped that the NRA will, in the future, endeavour to work closer with the CPA to minimize flooding in areas where new developments are being proposed. Without this close cooperation, potential issues could occur where the NRA builds roads with proper stormwater management measures only designed to meet the needs of such roads and not intended to satisfy the stormwater management requirements for large projects expected to be built on properties near to the roads.
In addition to issues with potential flooding, residents made mention of issues with speeding and requests were made for speed humps or “sleeping police.”
Forbes drew markings on various streets for planned speed humps in order to improve the safety for residents on foot, especially children at play, those using the roads for exercise or walking dogs.
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