Portland roadway partly open
WEST HILL, Portland:
The roadway at West Hill in Portland, which collapsed on Saturday leaving thousands of residents marooned, is now partially open.
A work crew toiled Saturday night into yesterday to restore a section of that roadway, which is now open to single-lane traffic and pedestrians.
"Motorists, along with some pedestrians, were left stranded Saturday night, " commented Louie Brown, councillor for the Fellowship division.
"Thanks to workmen from the National Works Agency (NWA), the roadway is now to single-lane traffic. The area is still heavily saturated, as there was a heavy downpour Saturday night, and I am urging motorists to proceed with caution."
Minette Mernard, 82, told The Gleaner yesterday that she grew up in the West Hill community, where, as a child, she engaged in fishing from a nearby stream, which lies below the existing roadway.
EROSION BY STREAM
"It is no secret that the roadway was constructed above the surface of the stream, " said Mernard.
She added: "Clearly, water movement is taking place below the road surface. Nobody listens to us as residents, and they keep on dumping the area and then asphalting the roadway. But the same problem occurs whenever there is heavy rainfall. The water below the road surface needs to flow freely."
Following the collapse of the roadway on Saturday, some residents were seen transporting goods on their heads along a narrow path to get beyond the breakaway.
However, yesterday, vehicular traffic was on the move transporting residents, including persons attending church, to and from the various communities.