Fri | Feb 26, 2021

Morant Bay roadworks in shambles

Published:Friday | February 19, 2021 | 12:08 AM


After many years of unfulfilled promises, work on the main part of the South East Coastal Highway got under way late last year with the section bypassing Grants Pen district starting, and seemed to be progressing satisfactorily. This is good news for all of us residing in the parish who have to traverse the main roads through these corridors.

The section from Yallahs to Morant Bay is still a mystery to many of us since there are surveyors marking out the roadway through the dangerous and winding existing roadways through White Horses.

The section from the Morant Bay roundabout to Prospect which was started early last year is progressing at a snail’s pace and destroying the existing road surface along this section of roadway. It has effectively become a one-lane road for the most part. To make things worse, due to the existing works, damage is being done because the work started but was not completed. For example, new drains have been put in the Church Corner area but because it is not completed, whenever it rains water flows knee-deep in the area where there was no flooding problem prior to this ‘improvement’.

There seems to be no supervision of this project because if there was, there would not be so many shortcomings.

There are sections where there is no kerb wall as yet, but the road is being stripped of the asphalt for building up with marl so, obviously, we who live in the area will be travelling on this dug-up section for a long time.

Why was it not done in sections, where one ‘stretch’ is completed before moving to the next? Even if it is being done by multiple contractors – and if each one does the same thing, the beginning of each section should be completed, instead of the whole town be in a state of disrepair indefinitely.


I have to ask, where is the planning in all of this? I get the impression that persons involved in the planning do not carry out physical inspections, or did very minimal checks before design and implementation. This situation would not exist if the project was properly implemented and supervised.

The same shortcomings and lack of supervision are evident on the segment from the Morant Bay roundabout to Cedar Valley. Some structural steel are beginning to rust from being fabricated and left exposed to the elements for many months while the project drags out. And how can we forget the destruction of a bridge near Font Hill crossroad which causes Trinityville, Cedar Valley, and other districts along that corridor to be cut off whenever it rains.

These are some of the frustrations the people of St Thomas are going through right now, and it is not a situation where “if you want good, you nose haffi run”, but a situation of total mismanagement of the project.

We continue to be treated as the ‘backward’ parish even when things are being done to make any kind of difference in the lives of the people of St Thomas. Someone needs to take this project in hand.

Carl Murray

Frustrated Resident