Fri | Dec 2, 2016

PM announces road repairs for Lucea

Published:Friday | April 24, 2015 | 11:03 PM

WESTERN BUREAU:

Prime Minister Portia Simpson Miller has announced that two major thoroughfares in Hanover are to be repaired by the National Works Agency within a few months.

The prime minister made the statements during her keynote address at the official opening ceremony of the Hanover Cooperative Credit Union's new offices in Lucea, Hanover yesterday.

"I know that there has been some development of the public infrastructure in Lucea over the years, but more remains to be done. The North Coast Highway has brought increased development in the general area. The National Works Agency has advised me that plans are in place for some major road improvement work to be done, in the Riley Bridge to Dias and Green Island to Santoy areas of the parish this year. The contractor has already been selected and the contract is to be signed the first week of May," Simpson Miller said.

Residents of the Green Island and Santoy areas have expressed pleasure with the prime minister's announcement. Residents of Santoy currently have to travel via bike taxis due to the deplorable condition of the roadway, or take the alternative and much longer route via Orange Bay. Principal of the Santoy Basic School, Novia Parkinson told The Gleaner that her fellow residents have suffered over the years due to the condition of the roadway.

"That is great that the road will be fixed properly at last. That is something that should have been done long ago. Some repatching was done but they stopped at my school. It is very costly for persons who drive due to the wear and tear on their vehicles, to travel to Green Island. Because very few if any vehicles used the Santoy to Green Island roadway, the road is lonely so while they may take the chance and drive there in the days, they don't want to take those chances at night, so they take the route via Orange Bay and so they have to use more fuel," Parkinson said.

"We don't have potholes, you know; what we have are pools, when it rains. I don't really want to take the bike,taxis but I have no other options. And the old people, they suffer because they don't particularly like the bike riding. Some are having it very hard to climb on the back of the bikes. The community will be more than grateful when it is fixed," Parkinson added.

Vice president of the Green Island Development Area Committee, Leonard Sharpe said he was cautiously optimistic about the impending overhaul of the roadway. He said it could open employment opportunities, as route taxi operators could possibly apply for licences to ply that roadway.

" It will cut out the need for the bike taxis from Green Island to Santoy. Currently no route taxis run on that route, so this could generate employment because now you would have a taxi service running from Green Island to Santoy, which is less risky. Some of the older people do not want to ride on the bikes. But I am hoping that whichever contractor wins the bid to build the road, will be honest and not eat off the money and run off," Sharpe said.