|La Romaine sinkhole leads to traffic |
KWAME WEEKES Saturday, April 15 2017
A SINK hole on the South Trunk Road in La Romaine yesterday led to frustration and anger for motorists as traffic piled up for miles in both directions.
The sinkhole appeared on Thursday and a portion of the road collapsed as a result.
The National Infrastructure Development Company (NIDCO) and the Ministry of Works and Transport yesterday blamed the collapse on the incompletion of the Point Fortin to San Fernando highway.
When Newsday visited the site of the sinkhole yesterday morning, smoke was still emanating from a two-foot hole which opened up on the roadway.
NIDCO’s project manager Dennis Harricharan said a bushfire at the side of the road burnt a high density polyethene (a type of plastic) culvert that runs along the length of the road.
“These culverts in this area are in an incomplete state,” said Harricharan.
“That means they are susceptible to wash-out and in this case, a fire and the fire has burned the top surface of the culvert and caused the road to collapse.” Works and Transport Minister Rohan Sinanan said when similar culverts, used for the run-off of excess water to prevent flooding, are built and completed, they are capped with a concrete structure at the end.
However, after the bankrupt Brazilian company, OAS Construtora abandoned the work on the highway extension the culvert was left open.
The affected section of the road was closed off to avoid the risk of it caving in further.
Traffic was redirected to St Mary’s Village Main Road and Oropouche Road.
Sinanan said workers were mobilised to repair the damage and it was expected to be completed by late yesterday.