MNO creates access road, closing other side of Middle Region

POSTED: 04/1/11 1:07 PM

St. Maarten – Both ends of the main road in Middle Region will be closed as of April 4, when the entrance on the Defiance Haven Side – Hilda B. Richardson Road – is closed. The closure is the second one related to an ongoing road improvement project being funded by the European Union and being executed by MNO Vervat. The first closure was done on March 15 on the entrance to Middle Region that runs off the A. Th. Illidge Road.

In order to ensure people can still get into Middle Region the contractor has built an access road using St. Barths Drive and Ellis Drive. The route has been tested by the Fire Department and the School busses. There are speed bumps along the road to slow down speed loving motorists and assigned parking near the Sister Marie Laurence School for the school busses and for parents who wish to drop off and pick up their children. GEBE has placed street lights along the access road and there are signs alerting people to the amended access route “long before” they have to make the turn into Middle Region.

The main entrance of the school has also been relocated because of the new access road and the sidewalk in front has been widened to ensure the safety of the pedestrians. The contractor has also built a divider into the road with signs to indicate where people should drive when they are moving on and off of the access road.

“We’re going to start with 50 meters of road and then we’ll move up higher by the school. That part should be finished by October and then we’ll keep going,” Construction Manager Jeroen Schuurman said.

Martha Simon-Thewet, one of the inspectors in the Ministry of Housing, Physical Planning, Environment and Infrastructure (VROMI), urged the public to cooperate with the changed situation and to have patience especially in the morning, when there may be a buildup of traffic in the area.

“The school has also requested that we ask people to be cautious when they are driving past the school and to turn their radios down, because it can be very distracting for the children,” Thewet said.

Acting Secretary General for VROMI Louis Brown also requested that people be patient and understanding during the improvements saying, “It is necessary to close the roads so that the improvements can be done, so please we ask that people have a little bit of patience as we move forward.”

The project to upgrade the infrastructure is an initiative of the Government of St. Maarten, with financial support from the European Union. The main works include the installation of sewerage lines, upgrading the road, constructing drains and installing sidewalks and street lights. The project is projected to last until June 2012.

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