Two separate investigations are ongoing into the collapse of the South Trunk Road at Mosquito Creek, says Works Minister Rohan Sinanan.
In a brief interview with Guardian Media, Sinanan said he is yet to get any of the reports about the collapse of 180 metres of roadway near Mosquito Creek, Shore of Peace.
“There are two investigations, one by NIDCO and the other by the Ministry of Works. I am awaiting both reports,” Sinanan said.
Asked when he expected to collect them, Sinanan said, “I cannot say. When I get the reports, I will make further comments.”
On Wednesday, during a press conference at the Creek, attorney Richard Jagesar said he has filed a Freedom of Information Act enquiry asking for specific details about the collapse of the road.
He accused the government of withholding information about the contract. Jagessar also questioned whether there was a warranty clause that prevented more taxpayers funds from being used to rectify the apparent flaws in the project.
The Association of Professional Engineers of T&T (APEC) has also called for an investigation but said given the nature of the physical environment there, the collapse may not be the result of failed engineering designs.
APEC’s honorary secretary engineer Richard Akong said a thorough investigation was needed to determine why the roadway failed.
“The nature and extent of the current roadway failure may well be an unforeseen phenomenon resulting from increasingly changing environmental conditions influencing existing complex geological and therefore geotechnical challenges,” he added.
Several activists including the president of the South Oropouche Riverine Flood Action group Edward Moodie and secretary of Fishermen and Friends of the Sea Gary Aboud have condemned the works saying it should never have been built ear the wetlands.
Mosquito Creek was said to be the most technical aspect of the highway. Since the conceptualisation of the Solomon Hochoy highway project under the late Prime Minister Patrick Manning, discussions were held as to whether a causeway should be built within the mangroves or whether the road should be widened.
OAS Constructura failed to complete the road extension along the Creek.
In June 2018, the government announced that it will divide the project into packages to boost competition among local contractors and so drive down prices.
After evaluation Jusamco Pavers, also known as Junior Sammy Contractors won the contract to upgrade 2.4 km of the northbound and southbound carriageway, with a revised final bid of $280,976,489.08 VAT inclusive.