Sat | Mar 17, 2018

Riverton joyful as concrete road nears completion

Published:Tuesday | August 30, 2016 | 12:00 AMJason Cross
Manuel Norena, United Nations Office for Project Services (UNOPS) representative and manager of the project, shows off a section of the concrete roadway under construction in Riverton.
Richard Lewis
Dwayne Gordon
Addo Abbendego
Adrian Hoffman
Workers carrying out construction work on the concrete road in Riverton Meadows.
Workers carrying out construction work on the concrete road in Riverton Meadows.

Riverton residents are expressing joy and optimism ahead of the completion of two all-concrete roads in their community.

The roads are expected to give garbage trucks easier access to the Riverton disposal site and, more important, give the community relief from the serious health hazards they say existed previously.

A US$1.8-million donation was made to Jamaica by the Mexican government late last year towards the construction of the access roads into the community.

"We used to have a problem with the dust. When di truck dem go to di dump, di dirt and thing cause asthma and all dem thing deh inna di community," said resident Richard Lewis.

"We not suppose to have a dust problem in the community (anymore)."

Adrian Hoffman said he has long been anticipating the construction of the road for similar reasons.

"Is a long time we have this road here. It carry a lot of dust, a lot of dirt and a lot of mud. It do a lot of effect to the people. It give them sinus, skin problems and all forms of problems that the dust used to give off. The road is very good; original slab road. It can last for a 30 to 40 years period," he said.

For Dwayne Gordon, "it means upliftment fi we, a great energy".

Said Gordon: "We just a dweet because we love di community and di kids dem. It help out we youth dem suh book can buy fi dem go back a school."

Addo Abbendego, who has been a member of the community for more than 14 years, told The Gleaner that he has, over the years, noticed the major health concerns members of the community have faced, especially the elderly and the young.

Abbendego believes the United Nations Office for Project Services (UNOPS) has been doing an extremely good job.

The physical element of the project

began on January 11 and should be complete by September 30. The UNOPS has been responsible for the management of the


Manuel Norena, UNOPS representative and manager of the project, told The Gleaner earlier this month that he was very lucky that the community was well organised with no serious problems occurring since the work began.

"It is a different type of project because we have decided to engage the community. The community has an enormous part of the responsibility of doing the job. It is a community well organised. That was my luck, to come and find a community that kind of has a structure of command," he said.


Workers rotated


He explained that the entire community has been receiving a lot of work through the project, with some workers being rotated every 15 days and others employed on a more regular basis.

He said the road will not require much repair as concrete roads are more durable than the usual asphalt roads.

"The project is the construction of two roads, giving access to the dumping site. The roads are concrete. That was a choice of the Ministry of Local Government. Water will not affect it at all, so it will stay. It will require less maintenance than if it was asphalt," said Norena.