Major roadworks by NWA can stand up to scrutiny - Hunter
Chief Executive officer of the National Works Agency (NWA), E.G. Hunter, has moved to defend major works carried out by his agency.
He declared that there is no evidence that such roadworks have been found wanting.
"One needs to establish factually that the incidence of deterioration relates to recent patching as opposed to deterioration along the corridor that has been in disrepair for many years, and so this thesis that it is recently undertaken works that are deteriorating and, therefore, one should hold contractors responsible, I am begging for the evidence," the NWA boss said in a Gleaner interview.
He was responding to reports that roads that have been constructed in recent times have fallen into disrepair, especially after flooding.
"What we will agree to is that in other areas of the network where we have only done periodic maintenance on certain sections of the network, it is eminently plausible that those corridors will be impacted because the works that we have done does not pretend to be sufficient rehabilitation," he said.
According to Hunter, the NWA has done a major road project from Rock Hall through Sligoville to Bog Walk in recent times and the infrastructure has resisted the floodwaters. He said the NWA has no knowledge as to who carried out repairs to a section of roadway on Sligoville Road which has subsequently deteriorated.
He argued that the NWA does not pretend to rehabilitate roadways when it carries out periodic patching. "The amount of money that would be required to carry out proper engineering work along these corridors is just not there in terms of the maintenance budget."
The NWA head said that most of the flaws that emerge on roadways are for roads that have been built, in some instances, 40 years ago and undergoing incremental deterioration.
At the same time, Hunter pointed out that persons who have been awarded road contracts have to adhere to certain standards, and warranties are built into those contracts.
"When we award a road construction contract, the contractor is obliged to construct the works to the prescribed standards in the contract and there is a maintenance period which is in the contract, generally six months, could be as much as a year. What it says is that within that time period, if there is any deterioration in the works, the contractor has to fix it at his own costs. We the employer would retain a sum called the retention amount, which in the event the contractor fails to make good, then we use the sum to do the works."