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Village Road diversions to address back-to-school traffic

Minister of Works and Utilities Alfred Sears said Friday the $6.4 million Village Road Improvement Project, which was expected to wrap up in September, is now expected to be completed in November and will include the installation of a roundabout. 

The government has undertaken an overhaul of Village Road between East Bay Street and just south of St. Andrew’s Road.

“There are some additional works which are being scoped related to installing a roundabout in the front of Queen’s College and the Bahamas National Trust,” Sears said.

“We will be meeting with both of those stakeholders to discuss further what is intended in order to make this roadway more efficient and also improve the quality of life not only of the residents of this community but also the guests who come as students, teachers to Queen’s College, and also guests and patrons to the National Trust and other commercial establishments along Village Road.”

Road works are ongoing on much of Village Road.

While there is a small portion leading to Montagu Beach that has been filled, stretches of the area, particularly in front of Queen’s College, have large holes. Some of the holes are as deep as eight feet.

As a result, traffic is being rerouted.

This has become a concern for teachers and parents alike as classes resume today.

But Sears and other officials from the Ministry of Works assured that there is a plan to address the matter.

“What we have established is where our construction crews will be, come that time,” said Albrion Symonette Jr., contract coordinator.

“Based on where they will be, come Monday, we’re actually going to be diverting traffic through Brooklyn Avenue … through the residential area and around through Tuckerway Road.

“Any motorists going beyond this very section, like if they’re going to Shirley Street, they will be using the diversions we’ve placed throughout Blair in order to access farther north of Queen’s College and the work site.”

Symonette said the installation of the roundabout will improve the efficiency of the traffic flow.

In addition to the roundabouts, the project includes the installation of additional pipes, an eight-inch water main, improvements to several junctions, road paving and lane widening.

Symonette said smart traffic signals will also be added.

He said the team has run into a few challenges, including the damage to existing pipes, which has caused some delays.

“We’re actually improving the drainage system here as well,” he said.

“There’s about three drain wells that have already been drilled. There’s a fourth one that will be drilled along with the improvements that they’re planning to do. So, we’re very conscious about the drainage situation.” 

Sears thanked the residents and business owners in the area for their patience.

“By November, we will have a dramatically improved road, sidewalks and more efficient infrastructure along this very central pathway,” he said.

As it relates to the Gladstone Road Project, the minister said consultations will begin shortly.

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Jasper Ward

Jasper Ward started at The Nassau Guardian in September 2018. Ward covers a wide range of national and social issues. Education: Goldsmiths, University of London, MA in Race, Media and Social Justice

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