HISTORIC SANDO CLOCK BEING MOVED
“The clock has not disappeared,” San Fernando Mayor Junia Regrello assured the city’s burgesses.
He was referring to public outrage over the feared removal of the landmark at Library Corner yesterday after several people contacted the T&T Guardian to express their dismay on discovering that the 51-year-old clock and the island separating Mucurapo Street and Coffee Street was gone. They also took to social media calling for the return of the clock.
The cube-shaped, four-sided clock atop a concrete pillar was gifted to the people of San Fernando by businessman Carlton K Mack to commemorate the fourth year of T&T’s independence on August 31, 1966. It was located across the road from the old San Fernando Library, another historical landmark, and was a constant timepiece for commuters using the La Romaine, Princes Town, Marabella and Couva taxi stands which surround it.
But Regrello yesterday told the T&T Guardian the clock is now stored at the San Fernando City Corporation building for safe keeping until it is relocated to an area not too far from its original spot. The corporation is scheduled to meet with stakeholders for an agreement on the new location for the clock today.
He explained that the island, which was built in 1956 and the clock, was removed to create an additional lane along Coffee Street to increase the flow of traffic. He said the work was part of the corporation’s transformation plan for San Fernando and they are currently working to ease the congestion road users face every day.
One of the reasons for traffic congestion, he said, is the location of six schools near Library Corner. With the removal of the island, he said, it now presents an option for vehicles to go directly from Point-a-Pierre Road to Mucurapo Street. This will free-up the traffic heading towards Presentation College and Grant Memorial Presbyterian Primary School.
“We are really expanding the city to accommodate more people, cars and businesses in that area. What our analysis has shown us is that a lot of vehicles deliver goods in that area and we need more space because it causes major congestion. Therefore, we have to find new ways to improve traffic flow and to do that, we have to think outside the box and come up with liberal ideas,” Regrello said.
“From when those structures were built we have had over 300 more houses, so many more cars and commuters. We removed the island and therefore the clock had to be removed. The island is no longer practical.
“Just as Independence Square in Port-of-Spain was transformed over the years, we need to do what is necessary to transform our city too. There are shops on either side of Library Corner and on mornings between 8 am and noon, there is an average of 22 delivery trucks offloading goods and 921 taxis moving in and out San Fernando,” Regrello said.
He promised that when the clock returns it will be aesthetically pleasing to the eyes and central to all who use it. He said he was appreciative of all the concerns that were raised.