November 1, 2013

Two retaining walls will be built to fix damaged Belmont main road

Two retaining walls will be built to rectify the damage that was done to the Belmont main road in August, after heavy rains caused a massive landslide on one of its banks.{{more}}

While answering a question posed in Parliament by member for West Kingstown Daniel Cummings, Minister of Transport and Works Julian Francis reported on the work done so far.

“We’re getting close to a design of two retaining walls; one at the bottom of the gorge that was washed out and one midway up and when we get to the top at road level, we still have to put in another support wall there,” Francis revealed.

The minister stated that while considering what was to be done, the chief engineer came up with several ideas, including tunnelling or cutting through the rock. However, both those suggestions proved to be too expensive, costing 11 million and eight million dollars respectively.

“We can’t be spending that kind of money to repair it,” he said.

Francis said that although no work has started on the road, designs for both walls should be finished by the end of November.

‘It would take us seven to eight months to get this situation corrected, including the preparation, because geotechnical work had to be done at the bottom of the gorge that was washed out and above the road,” Francis said.

“The surveyors have done their work and done their studies and the design of that retaining wall at the bottom of the gorge is on paper, soon to be completed.”

Furthermore, the minister noted that it may not be possible for work to commence during the rainy season.

“It’s going to be difficult to work in the rainy season, trusting that if the weather we are having continues, we’re going to have to wait on a drier period to get down into that gorge to start building that retaining wall,” he said.

In the meantime, travellers in that area can commute using two bypass roads, the Belmont village road and Whim road.

Francis explained that the Belmont village road is for traffic entering Marriaqua, while the him road is to be used for traffic coming out of Marriaqua, as neither road can accommodate two-way traffic.(BK)