New construction on Elgin Avenue
from Hospital Road to the UBS building is causing major traffic build-up in the
rush hours and further commuter delays.
The project is meant to improve
road safety and traffic flow on Elgin Avenue and surrounding areas, according
to the National Roads Authority.
But the additional traffic spawned
from the road work and construction of the new government building between
Cricket Square and the old Government Administration Building is already bringing
vehicles to a standstill.
The initial construction is centred
primarily on a stretch of road in front of the Glass House.
“The road is being widened in front
of both the existing and new government buildings to accommodate extra turn
lanes in and out of those buildings and also to improve access to the
government car park in Humber Lane,” said NRA project manager Peter Ogden.
There is also an additional indent
lane in the road for a bus stop, something that’s being added in order for the
new government building to receive Leadership in Energy & Environmental
Design certification, Mr. Ogden said.
Some of the extra width of the lane
is to make room for a mini-roundabout at Hospital Road.
The heavy traffic is further
compounded by flooding as a result of heavy rains, especially in the low part
of the road in front of Cricket Square.
“Elgin Avenue presently drains to a
central low point at Cricket Square,” he said.
“The few wells in that area are consequently completely overloaded.”
Mr. Ogden said that the new design
of Elgin Avenue splits the road into a series of highs and lows, each with its
own set of drains so that the water will not all drain to one point.
“The scheme includes the drilling
of 30 new wells and the re-drilling of four existing wells,” he said. “Fourteen new wells have drilled to date.”
Mr. Ogden said the road will be
raised another 12 inches in the area of Cricket Square and the Walkers Building
to avoid flooding.
The traffic remains, for now, a
serious problem for morning and evening commuters.
According to the NRA’s
transportation planner, Marion Pandohie, the construction will continue for the
next five months, with work scheduled to be completed sometime in February.
There is a long-term future plan to
connect Elgin Avenue and Smith Road via Humber Lane and Melrose Lane to ease
traffic congestion, but that is not part of the current road construction
A start date on that road
construction has yet to be announced.