Lack of asphalt hampering road repairs

July 30, 2018
A broken National Water Commission NWC pipe leaking at the intersection of Constant Spring Road and Constant Spring Grove St Andrew. The resultant pothole is an irritant to motorists.

Numerous roadways that have been left unrepaired for an extended period have become a cause of concern for some citizens, especially in the Corporate Area.

And as various government entities continue to dig up the roadways, the more persons worry that they won't be repaired in a timely fashion.

Calvin Robinson, who resides in Kingston, told THE STAR that a thoroughfare that was refurbished earlier this year had been dug up more than two months ago and pipes laid. But the road has not been completely repaired since that time.

"Dem no fix dat yet and mi see dem do whole heap more work after dat. It look like dem hear say gold inna Jamaica and dem determine fi find it, dem just a dig up di road," he explained.

Like Robinson, Travis Cunningham is worried by the length of time it takes for road repairs to be completed.

"Yu caan too speed again, cause yu wi drive pon a road today and tomorrow, bare pothole deh pon it," he argued.

But Ramona Lawson, the acting manager, communications and customer service at the National Works Agency (NWA), said that road repairs are being hampered by a shortage of asphalt.




She said the National Water Commission (NWC) has embarked on a programme to install pressure-release valves in Kingston and St Andrew, which is one of the reasons for so many road excavation projects.

However, she noted that there is a current memorandum of understanding in place between both entities for the NWA to repair the road once the NWC has completed their work.

"What happens is that the NWC will update as to the cuts they make and those that they want us to repair over a particular period," she told THE STAR.

"As far as Kingston and St Andrew are concerned, we would have done about 3,000 square metres of road reinstalment thus far. We would have repaired 600 square metres of paving for reinstalment, and since then the NWC would have made more cuts. We have not gone to replace those as yet, because we are unable to reinstate them based on the current shortage in supply of asphalt," she explained.

And while she said the agency has done repairs estimated to be valued at $10 million, there are other areas that were filled with marl but they are stopping that.

"We have decided not to repair any more because what happens is that if the area is not covered with asphalt, then whenever it rains or when motor vehicle tyres pass over that fill, it is going to erode and we would have to go back and do it again," she told THE STAR.

Lawson reassured the public that as soon asphalt begins to be supplied on a consistent basis, the NWA will embark on work in those areas that have been prepared and then move to new ones that the NWC would have added to its system.

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