WASA repair work causes disruption in Port of Spain

The content originally appeared on: Trinidad and Tobago Newsday

WASA workmen make repairs to a massive water leak at the intersection of Queen Street and Frederick Street in Port of Spain, on Tuesday. – Photo by Roger Jacob

The Water and Sewerage Authority (WASA) has had to fix two leaks within 24 hours in the same cast-iron pipeline at the corner of Frederick and Queen Street, Port of Spain, causing major traffic disruption.

It began on Monday, when WASA, in a statement, informed drivers and the public that emergency repairs were being done on a leaky pipeline. WASA said repairs would be would be completed overnight.

However, in statement on Tuesday, WASA said the initial leak had been fixed, but the same pipeline sprang another leak on Tuesday. More repairs were being done and were expected to be completed by 6pm.

Newsday took to the streets on Tuesday, to get the public’s reaction.

A passerby on Frederick Street said, “Is 23 years I out here and this leak is always giving problems. As soon as a little rain falls, it does bubble up, and is sewer water, it does be bubbling up having the place smelling stink.

“Hopefully, this time they fix it properly, but they (WASA workers) just dragging their feet to get overtime money.”

Alister Greig, a security guard at Linen World, said, “There is no foot traffic, and I hear people saying this could have been done at night, but with all this crime, it might not be safe. Thankfully, it had no dust.”

Stephon Simeon, a clerk at 212 Blanix, said, “It is the same amount of traffic in the store, but they should have fixed that long ago, because all they did before was put a metal sheet over it. Yesterday (Monday), a car went down in the hole and get stuck. A garbage truck tried pulling it out and pull the bumper off and on (last) Friday, a woman tyre mash up in it, so I’m just glad they finally fixing it.”

On Monday, a video of a car stuck in the sinkhole caused by the leaky pipe went viral on social media.

Joan Sookdeo, a manager at Kristina’s, praised the work being done by WASA.

“There was a lot of water wasting from the pipe and fire hydrant, but they are doing a good job. The water prevented people from coming in earlier, but overall, it really did not affect store traffic. This should have been fixed a long time ago, but I see them (WASA workers) really working hard.”

The pipeline was repaired on Tuesday, but evidence of the work was left behind when the metal sheets used to cover the unpaved asphalt from earlier repairs were again placed at the intersection.

Workmen were seen paving the road at the intersection on Wednesday.

All calls to WASA communications department and Port of Spain mayor Chinua Alleyne went unanswered.