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Four-Lane International Minimum Highway Width Can Work

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Monday, October 30, 2006 – The Ministry of Communications, Works, Transport and Public Utilities has been clearing up some misunderstanding of a recently held demonstration on the Castries/Gros-Islet Highway over a week ago.

The demonstration was to prove that the route being rehabilitated could accommodate a four-lane carriageway. To do so, the ministry utilized four large trucks to drive along a short part of the route simultaneously.

Ministry officials said the trucks were only used as an example that the highway width, an international minimum, could work. Head of the Ministry's Special Projects Unit (SPU), Albert Jn. Baptiste said, when the route is opened for four-lane traffic, trucks would not be allowed to travel in the way demonstrated.

“We felt that if we could demonstrate to the public that four big trucks can fit, it would be convincing enough to demonstrate to the public that almost any combination of vehicles can transit on that four-lane carriageway safely,” said the SPU head.

He said the four lane highway running from the Vigie Roundabout to the area in front Sandals Halcyon, will have a continuous concrete median of some 30 inches high, separating the route into two carriageways, each having two-lane traffic.

The outer lanes, he says, will be 3 meters wide, which will accommodate trucks and other vehicles of the size used in the demonstration, as well as smaller vehicles, while the inner lanes will have a width of 2.75 meters.

He further stated that the four-lane route, though part of the highway, is not a highway in itself, but a traffic control measure that will have specific travelling speeds and guidelines. He also noted that ninety-degree turns normally executed across the highway from junctions along the route will not be permitted when the four-lane carriageway is opened. Motorists will be required to travel from their direction to the nearest roundabout in order to turn into the other carriageway.

The remainder of the route under rehabilitation will be a three lane carriageway. This includes the stretch of road from Jn. Marie's Gas Station to the Vigie Roundabout and from the Sandals Halcyon entrance to the Choc/Union Roundabout, now under construction.

Motorists, officials say, will have little to worry about where pedestrians are concerned, as some six pedestrian overpasses, also known as foot bridges, will be constructed at strategic points along the entire route.

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