Highway project wrecked our homes - Residents demand compensation for damages

February 02, 2017
Dadrianne Segree, a resident of Avon Park in Spanish Town, is among a number of community members seeking compensation for damaged homes.
This massive crack is testatment to the alleged damages done by the blast.
Pauline Clarke points to damaged walls in and around her home in Avon Park in Spanish Town.

Several residents in Spanish Town, St Catherine, are furious as contractors have refused to compensate them for serious damage done to their houses during blasting exercises to construct the North-South leg of Highway 2000.
They are so frustrated with their crumbling abodes that some are lawyering up, and others are planning to demonstrate.
Our news team strolled through Avon Park and Angel's Grove, where most of the residents had complaints about damage done to their dwellings.
Euline Virgo said her daughter had to do major repairs after her rooms started to separate from each other, while Karlene Lynch said her roof has been "leaking like a running river" since the blasts.
"When the blasting was happening, the place was shaking so bad it felt like an earthquake," Dadrianne Segree, who lives in Avon Park, told THE STAR.
She showed our news team three massive cracks and several minor ones which appeared in her walls during the exercise.
"Now I can sit in my room and look outside through the cracks. All cool breeze a come through. We don't know what can happen to us in here if it's not fixed." Segree said.
She is calling on Midac Equipment Ltd, which carried out the blasts, to deliver the promised compensation.
Segree and several other residents provided documentation to show that the company conducted pre and post-blast surveys at her residence in November 2014 and September 2015, respectively, where the damage after the blasts was noted.
However, the company has sent some residents letters saying they will not be providing compensation as their houses were not in range, and the type of blasting done could not have affected them
"The type of blasting being executed by our company is controlled blasting, and due care is executed to ensure that the vibration levels do not exceed the legally allowable limit. In light of this, it is highly improbable that the alleged damages would have resulted from our works," a part of the company's letter read.
However, the residents, who can see the highway from their back yards, are calling this explanation "pure foolishness" and "a big disrespect" as they experienced serious tremors during the blasts. They added that they are puzzled as to why the company conducted pre and post blast surveys at their homes, but are now claiming that their dwellings are not in range to be considered for compensation.
Midac Equipment Ltd is yet to respond to queries made by THE STAR.



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