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Trucks ‘mashing up’ the roads

ALEX DOWNES, [email protected]

Trucks ‘mashing up’ the roads

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The big trucks have been fingered as the real culprits accelerating deterioration of the nation’s roads.

So says Ministry of Transport and Works (MTW) project manager Dave Scantlebury, despite there being more than 115 000 vehicles on the road.

“Generally the damage to roads is mainly done by trucks. As I said, one truck can do more damage than a thousand cars,” Scantlebury said following a recent MTW town hall meeting.

“So when you look at the Farley Hill road especially [on the border of St Peter and St Andrew], that is truck damage; that has nothing to do with cars, and you get as many trucks up there as you get cars,” he explained.

Large vehicles such as dump trucks can carry up to 32 tonnes, the weight of about 32 sedan vehicles.

There are about 1 950 kilometres of road on the island, with about 1 600 being paved. Even with this extensive road network, the majority of traffic falls on the ABC Highway and Ronald Mapp Highway.

Scantlebury said the MTW had been analysing the flow of traffic and also had plans to build stronger roads.

“We know about the damage. What we do all the time is that MTW puts down pneumatic tubes across the road and we count the traffic, we categorise it, et cetera,” he said.

“We’ve designed the asphalt to handle that extra weight because obviously, the traffic volumes are increasing at least 1.5 per cent to two per cent every year.” (AD)