New Providence drivers can anticipate improvements to Village Road. The Ministry of Works and Utilities hosted a virtual meeting recently to inform the public about the design, construction and improvement of 0.9 miles of roadway on Village Road between St. Andrew’s Drive and Montagu Beach.
Albrion Symonette Jr., Resident Engineer, Ministry of Public Works, told participants that the project is to rehabilitate, improve the level of service and execute “critical” capital upgrades to various buried utilities on Village Road. The scope of the roadworks includes, but is not limited to: new traffic signals at Parkgate Road, Shirley Street and Village Road, removal of existing pavement, installation of new pavement, electrical ducts, water mains and services and construction of junction improvements at Parkgate Road, St. Andrews Drive and Queen’s College/Bahamas National Trust.
“Right now we don’t have a turning lane on to Parkgate Road. One of the big things for this project to ensure the smooth flow of the traffic, is to add a turning lane here — a dedicated left turning lane,” said Symonette. A turning lane will also be placed at St. Andrew’s Road and a 400-year-old silk cotton tree at Parkgate and Village roads will be removed to provide a turning lane. Mr. Symonette underscored that mitigating measures will be taken once the tree is removed and the highest level of environmental compliance will be maintained to preserve Village Road, a historic corridor.
Other changes proposed include widening to 3 lanes from the New Providence Road Improvement Project (at the approach of the Village Road Plaza), a median lane near to Queen’s College which will provide relief to drivers and create additional turning movement. Investigative works to verify the location of utilities commenced in January. Once a shipment of duct pipes arrives, permanent works will begin. The completion
date of the project is September 2022, before the reopening of school. Symonette informed participants that in keeping with the traffic management plan, the intention is to not close Village Road.
“[We] intend to maintain two-way flow as much as possible without shutting down roadworks. Our goal is to minimize impact as far as possible to businesses and residents.
“At no point in time, unless absolutely critical, will we close the road. The intention is to leave the road open at all times even at all hours of the night.
“[We] will be working the project in several phases. Each phase represents a section of single lane traffic. While phase 1 is going ahead phases 2, 3 and 4 will continue to flow freely with 2 way traffic.”
Kurt Smith, contractor’s representative for Knowles Construction, confirmed that access will be given to establishments. “We will ensure that what we are doing provides minimal impact to businesses. We will allow for access to be provided to the businesses while the work is ongoing. We will have some trenches open [and] we will be able to identify access for pedestrians to access the businesses in the vicinity of the traffic
“It is the same thing for vehicular access. We are going to try as much as possible to minimize impact to the businesses. As we traverse and utilize the traffic management plan we’ll have a roving flag person who is able to provide access for vehicles, and pedestrian access, in the work zone and during the working period,” he added.