St. Maarten Government closing 300 meters of road in Dutch Quarter

POSTED: 07/28/11 12:25 PM

St. Maarten – Head of New Projects in the Ministry of Housing, Physical Planning, Environment and Infrastructure (Vromi) Kurt Ruan announced that 300 meters of the A Th. Illidge Road will be closed off as of 9:00 a.m. on Friday July 29. The closure will be for two weeks so the crossovers related to the construction of a new drain can be completed.

The closed section of road is from above the De Weever property to the area near Zorg and Rust area. Signs will be posted to divert motorists. One sign will posted near the Belvedere/Dutch Quarter Roundabout directing people to use the Bishop Hill Road and the other will be posted near Arch Road encouraging them to drive through that road and then use Sucker Garden.

Ruan admitted early in Wednesday’s briefing that the closure was inconvenient, but stressed that it is necessary. He and the contractor – Windward Roads – have also guaranteed that people who live in the area will continue to have access to their homes. They’ve also asked people who need to access the area to leave their car outside of construction area. People are also encouraged not to go home for lunch so crews can have maximum use of the daylight without pausing for through traffic.

“We know the timing is inconvenient because we just put in the sewage line there but now the drainage is on its turn. We’re mainly doing this now because of the school holidays. We did look at alternatives to closing the road but land owners were not willing to cooperate and allow us to use their land to create the alternate route,” Ruan said.

The ministry and contractor know the work will lead to congestion and have suggested that people either leave home early or later than the peak hours of 7:30 a.m. to 9:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. They have also suggested that people heading for the airport, Simpson Bay and Marigot drive through the French Side.

Ruan also served notice that this is not the last time traffic in Dutch Quarter will be diverted. There are plans to make the A Th. Illidge Road a one way road later this year as construction of the new drain gets closer to the sidewalk.

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