The National Works Agency (NWA) is advising persons to exercise extreme caution when travelling along the Mandela Highway, especially at nights, as the four-kilometre stretch of roadway is now without streetlights. This is due to the theft of all the circuit breakers that power the lights.
Manager of Communication and Customer Services at the NWA, Stephen Shaw, says the circuit breakers are critical components that assist in minimizing damage to the new lamps in the event of power surges. He says a month ago, following reports that a number of the lamps were not working, a detailed check was done which had revealed that some of the breakers had been stolen.
Mr. Shaw says even though the Jamaica Public Service (JPS) had restored some of the lamps reports of non-functioning lights persisted. During a visit by the JPS to the site on the weekend, it was discovered that all the circuit breakers have been removed from the panel box.
Mr. Shaw further stated that thieves have been preying on the system since the street lamps were first installed. In the past, wires that are crucial to the functioning of the lights were cut and pulled from beneath the road, rendering the system inoperable. Temporary street lamps have also been stolen along the Mandela Highway.
The Jamaica Public Service is now working to put the street lamps back in operation in the shortest possible time.