Statia breaks ground for renewal hairpin bend Smoke Alley
A ground-breaking ceremony took place on Wednesday August 5th, marking the beginning of work on the access road to and from the port of Statia, the hairpin bend at Smoke Alley specifically. Preparatory work had already begun as the patchy asphalt layer has been removed and a construction site has been created inside GTI Statia property.
Now that the actual work has commenced, traffic flow may be delayed for 20-30 minutes. Arrangements have been made with supermarkets and other stakeholders for the transport of goods at intervals of 12 days. Emergency vehicles and other services needing emergency access will always be allowed. A new staircase for access to the beach was constructed, and also a new outlet for rainwater.
The Smoke Alley project should be finalized at the end of 2020. Phasing is necessary to work sequentially on parts of the road, by means of a half lane closure. All vehicles up to 2.5 meters wide, should always be able to pass. Vehicles wider than 2.5 meters and heavy transport with (20 and 40 ft) containers can use the road every 2 weeks on Tuesday and Wednesday. This allows a fixed window for transport of fresh products and other supplies. A connection plug for electricity to connect the cooling container for storage in the harbor was installed in the port, to make sure fresh goods can be preserved, in case the transit comes to an unexpected halt.
When there is an emergency services can always reach Lower Town. For trucks of the Fire Brigade exceptions will be made when there is an emergency. Damage expected to the new road in this scenario, will have to be repaired.
After completion, the road will meet safety standards for all types of vehicles and be less demanding to motor vehicles. Rainwater will be collected at Upper Town and diverted to a water infiltration zone instead of flowing down into the ocean, limiting erosion and damage to the coral.