Investigations into Mosquito Creek failure to conclude at end of May

The content originally appeared on: Trinidad and Tobago Newsday

FILE PHOTO: The section of the Solomon Hochoy Highway extension at Mosquito Creek which collapsed on January 22. –

Works and Transport Minister Rohan Sinanan said the investigation into the failure of a portion of the northbound carriageway of the Mosquito Creek is expected to be completed by May 25.

Responding to a question from Opposition Senator Wade Mark in the Senate on Tuesday, Sinanan said the investigation into the failure of a 180 metre portion of the 2.4 kilometre highway began on March 14, almost two months after the initial incident on January 22.

“On March 14, 2022, NIDCO geo-technical consultant Earth Investigation Systems Ltd (EISL) commenced geotechnical investigations along the northbound carriageway of the Solomon Hochoy Highway Extension to Pt Fortin at the Mosquito Creek. These investigations include a total of 17 cone penetration tests (CPTs) and six standard penetration tests (SPTs), sample boreholes.

“EISL completed all 17 CPTs as well as all six SPTs on April 21, 2022. The SPT sampling boreholes investigation meant to retrieve undisturbed samples are expected to facilitate the computation of expected total and differential settlements in the short and long term and provide other engineering parameters to support the investigations into the failure.”

Sinanan said laboratory tests of the samples are still ongoing, with a May 25 completion date.

“Based on the results of the field testing, the consultants will also be performing four additional CPT tests, which are scheduled for completion by May 20, 2022. The data from these geotechnical studies will be used to develop failure mechanisms and relevant solutions.”

Sinanan said EISL was engaged through Nidco following a recommendation from local geotechnical engineer Dr Derek Gay. He said the Andean Development Bank provided international experts at no cost, and the engineering team at the ministry was also working on the project. He said he would attempt to provide the cost when the investigation was completed.

Responding to a question from Mark, Sinanan said blame for the failure of the roadway could not be assigned until the investigation was completed. He said he believed that Jusamco Pavers were the company in charge of paving that section of roadway.

Sinanan said the claim by the Opposition that government spent $280 million on the roadway failure was false. He said that amount was for the construction of the entire 2.4 kilometres of northbound carriageway of the Mosquito Creek, including miscellaneous works such as revetment, seawall, bridges, and utility relocation.