File photo: Alle Ali rides over one of the cracks at the South Trunk Road along the Mosquito Creek in La Romaine on January 23. Photo by Ayanna Kinsale
While the Ministry of Works and Transport awaits the outcome of the investigation into the partial collapse of the Mosquito Creek, the ministry has appointed a committee to review the findings.
The committee comprises senior engineers and will be chaired by the ministry’s chief technical officer.
On January 22, the National Infrastructure Development Company Ltd (NIDCO) confirmed a slope instability along the road. a segment of the Solomon Hochoy Highway extension from San Fernando to Point Fortin.
Cracks were initially covered to prevent surface runoff seeping in, and the earth-fill and pavement loads on the embankment were immediately reduced, it said
A media release from the ministry on Tuesday said the ministry has sought the assistance of the CAF Development Bank of Latin America to do an independent geotechnical assessment of the affected area through its technical assistance programme.
“This independent specialist will also assist the ministry with the review of the report provided by NIDCO. The completion of these investigations is critical given the prevailing geotechnical conditions of the soil type on the project site,” the release said.
While there have been requests for a definitive statement onthe cause, it said, “Situations of this nature require a systemic and strategic approach that is researched and data-driven. The technical team requires time to investigate the prevailing issues, identify clear causality factors and develop appropriate engineering solutions moving forward.”
The release said NIDCO’s project managers and representatives from its consulting engineering firm (AECOM) have been monitoring the area daily.
Dr Derek Gay, a geotechnical engineer, has been appointed by NIDCO, along with AECOM’s team of technical experts, to investigate the road failure and provide an appropriate solution.
Specialist equipment was required which has recently arrived in the country.
Investigations continue, after which a report will be submitted to the ministry for review.
The ministry said it is dedicated to taking all necessary actions to address the issue and prevent a recurrence.