Neighbours open yards to ease 'Bruck Weh' pain

September 08, 2017
Work continues along the Mount Ogle road.
Schoolchildren make their way through the yards.
Evan Walker explains why he opened his yard to help pedestrians navigate the road work.
Despite the sign, the owners allow persons to pass through the properties later than advertised.
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Residents of Mount Ogle district in Lawrence Tavern have opened up their yards to facilitate thousands of pedestrians who use them as an alternative to a broken corridor currently under construction.

The National Works Agency (NWA) noted in June that a breakaway along a section of the Nolan Hill to Border main road in rural St Andrew would be closed to vehicular traffic for three months to facilitate repairs.

However, further deterioration lead to drastic erosion, which impacted pedestrians.

The area, commonly known as 'Bruck Weh', became impassable, but guidance counsellor Evon Walker and his neighbour have found a solution, allowing pedestrians to pass through their yards to avoid the roadwork.

Walker, a teacher for over 20 years and son of the soil, is very familiar with the community.

 

Reopening of school

 

He said: "There is not much option that the people have, except to go down into the gully, and we see that it's very dangerous especially for the elderly folks and younger children."

Walker said, the request was just for pedestrians.

"(But) A motorcyclist just rode through the yard (yesterday) and almost hit down somebody. We were offended by that because a notice was placed on the gate saying pedestrians only," he said.

Approximately 2,000 persons traverse the properties daily.

"Oberlin (High School) alone has 1,800 students and most of them pass this way. We know the timeframe that they ask for to pass through is 10 to 12 days and we know they are willing to work assiduously to finish the road," said Walker.

The reopening of school was also a factor in the decision to open up their properties as some children would have to go all the way to Stony Hill which is a longer distance.

The yards are open to the public from 5 a.m. to 6:30 p.m., however, occasionally, they go beyond those times. He said that when it gets dark, he has concerns for his family's safety.

"We were worried at first and we spoke to the MP and asked her if we could get security so people could respect the agreement, just somebody to ensure that people do not linger around and do not overstep the boundaries. We didn't get through because we wanted somebody in uniform. If that could have been done, then maybe the time could have been different," Walker told THE WEEKEND STAR.

Member of Parliament for West Rural St Andrew, Juliet Cuthbert, has publicly commended the residents for the gesture and told constituents, via her Facebook account, that she is maintaining a close eye on the project and its progress.

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