Crumbling Ferris Cross bridge a motor vehicle hazard
Residents of Ferris Cross in Westmoreland want the authorities to quickly address a deteriorating stone bridge over which numerous vehicles continue to drive regularly despite the roadway having been closed over the last six weeks.
The bridge, which serves as a connecting point for motorists travelling between Westmoreland and St Elizabeth, was partially damaged during a motor vehicle accident three years ago.
Since then, the bridge's old stone structure has increasingly weakened, and there are fears that at any time, it could collapse under the weight of the constant vehicular traffic.
Richard Blair, who lives a short distance away from the bridge, said that its damaged condition has been worsened by heavy rains since the accident.
"From the accident happened and the sidewalk get hit off three years aback, the bridge weaken up, and heavy rains come falling and big trucks pass over it, and it just drop down," Blair told WESTERN STAR. "It's the main bridge to go Kingston and Black River, and it a stifle the people in the area."
BRIDGE STILL IN USE
But while the roadway was blocked off six weeks ago with large piles of marlstone to prevent the bridge's use, motorists have cleared parts of the road to continue using it as according to some, the alternative route through the Amity community puts them at risk of being held up by robbers.
"We can't do no better. If you get up this morning after 5, round there (Amity) nuh safe. Man a block road on people a morning time fi rob them," one bus operator said.
Councillor Bertel Moore, mayor of Savanna-la-Mar, agrees that the bridge's risk to the public must be immediately addressed.
"I think it's a very serious situation because people are still using the bridge, and it can break at any time. What we need to do immediately is to get transport minister Robert Montague or Everald Warmington (state minister with responsibility for works) down here for a serious meeting so we can look at the way forward," said Moore.