Wed | Sep 19, 2018

Reform repair standards for roads

Published:Saturday | October 28, 2017 | 12:00 AM


There are a number of reports on the evening news of angry residents blocking thoroughfares because of bad road conditions. I can empathise.

Even in Stony Hill Square, in front of the market, the unacceptable situation has existed for years. Further down, Stock Farm Road is nothing short of a disgrace. And it's not from the recent rains.

Something that is very obvious when looking at the potholes on TV is - I think - one of the main causes of this problem. It is clear that the road consists of some marl with a razor-thin layer of asphalt on top.

Several years ago - in the weeks before a general election - sections of my road were paved. Two weeks later, grass was growing through the asphalt. In a community near Golden Spring, about 15 youngsters were contracted to repair about three chains of road. By the time they had completed two chains, rain had already started to wash away sections of the first 50 feet.




I can remember when the toll road was being constructed over the causeway. Seven inches of asphalt was laid. Twice! That's 14 inches. I mentioned this to one of the supervisors, and his response was, "... That's the way roads are built ... ."

I always wondered why there isn't a road maintenance crew that travels around and effects repairs when they appear and are small and cheap to fix. How can it make sense to wait until after several accidents when the problem becomes expensive?

It would appear as if the first problem has to do with the quality of construction of the original road and improperly designed drainage facilities.

May I suggest that, this time around, qualified contractors be used and that they focus on sufficient pavement and base thickness, correct improperly designed drainage facilities, stop using single-surface treatment where multiple-surface treatment is required, and do it in such a way as not to cause traffic nightmares while work is in progress?