Mavis Bank breakaway concerns residents
Resting his left leg on a culvert and watching as workmen feverishly tried to repair a dangerous breakaway, Barry Nixon was not pleased that his early morning plans had to be cancelled.
On Saturday, East Rural St Andrew Member of Parliament Juliet Holness tweeted that midsize and large vehicles and trucks were not allowed on the Craig Hill road in the Mavis Bank Division, as recent showers have caused a major section of the roadway to collapse. When THE STAR team visited the area yesterday, workmen were working feverishly in the river below the breakaway to lay material to repair the damage.
"Mi leave mi house at 8:20 a.m. and now is 11:13 a.m. and mi can't reach weh mi ago. It seem like mi have to go back home because mi truck can't pass here suh. This really bad fi mi because is vegetable mi sell and if by Saturday this road nuh fix, mi a go have to take the long road through St Peters and Newcaastle and that a go take about four or five hours," said Nixon.
"We nuh need anything else up here except road and water enuh because we very independent. We can provide for ourselves, but we can't fix land slippage. This dangerous bad and all it take is a next shower a rain and then not even bike man a go can pass. This should have fix long time man," Nixon said.
Parking her vehicle footsteps away from the breakaway, Tyesha Grant, who owns a parcel of land in the area, said she was concerned she would be marooned in the community.
"This road break off from the other road did impassable so is almost two years now, and den dem wait until rain again dem a come do this nonsense. The rain fall recently and dig off more, so certain vehicle cannot pass right now. Motorists are travelling at their own risk. Mi don't have any house up there, just land, but mi fraid fi pass because next ting later when mi fi come down back it break way worse and mi can't pass. Is crawl yuh have to crawl pass and it nuh safe," she said.
After much consideration, Grant skilfully and slowly made her way to the other side of the community. Several other motorists were seen navigating the roadway. David McGowan, another resident, said that he lives below the breakaway, but has to travel the road daily to look grass for his animals.
"Dis place ya dangerous bad and there is no way yuh can use machine to cut the top side. Dem have to use manpower to shave off some suh vehicle can pass for now. It get outta hand now and is very risky. If yuh put a machine and shake the bottom, the top a go come down and block off the road entirely fi di rest a di year," McGowan said.
Senator Norman Grant, managing director of The Mavis Bank Coffee Factory Limited, said the breakaway will affect commerce in the Mavis Bank area.
"We have over 15,000 persons who live in the community beyond there and there are schoolchildren and the bus can't navigate it. What they need to do is have a work programme over the next 48 hours to rectify and edge off the top side so vehicle can commute while they get lamps and light and rectify this breakaway as soon as possible. It is very very unfortunate that this should happen in the peak season for coffee," he said.