Wed | Jun 3, 2020

We cannot afford these poor road jobs

Published:Tuesday | November 23, 2010 | 12:00 AM

The Editor, Sir:

During the days of the Public Works Department roads were constructed with the middle of the road surface higher than both sides or, in particular areas, one side of the surface higher.

These types of constructions facilitated areas for water to run along the sides of the roads into trenches in selected sites or into appropriate drains (soakaways)

On the finishing of a newly constructed road, the surface would be ballasted with stones then rolled by heavy rollers. A second course of pebbles would be laid and rolled again, then the asphalt would be applied to a specified thickness, according to the projected traffic load through that road. We used to drill small holes to ensure the thickness of the asphalt laid were to specification, and then they would be refilled.


I have observed now that the undersurface of these new roads are marl with asphalt surface of less than a quarter of an inch thick but, even worse, the middle of most of these roads are flat and, sometimes, lower than the sides, making them gutters or in cases pools for water to settle.

Even the new highways, I have noticed, are not constructed, in my view, to last for very long, as they are finished too flat across the surface.

With the volume of traffic and the weight of heavy trucks, roads must be better constructed, and qualified National Works Agency engineers should make tests on especially major works.

The country cannot be continually making costly payments for shoddy work and unnecessary repairs to faulty constructions and repairs

I am, etc.,