THE EDITOR, Sir:
I live in Woodford, a community located in the highlands of east rural St Andrew. Woodford's hilly terrain necessitates that retaining walls are strategically placed along roadsides to prevent soil erosion and to safeguard road users.
For the past four years, commuters have cringed in fear while passing a section of the Newcastle road en route to Woodford. A segment of Newcastle's retaining walls, about 7m wide, has broken away, leaving an 'entryway' for unwary commuters to plunge into the deep ravine below.
I believe that the faded 'caution tapes' which have 'replaced' the wall are prognostic of a major accident waiting to happen. With the constant rains, and the lack of 'protection' that the retaining wall provided, the soil beneath the tarmac is becoming waterlogged and is gradually wearing away. Before long, what is left of the road will collapse.
Members of the surrounding communities have registered copious complaints about this issue to the offices of the National Works Agency, the Kingston and St Andrew Corporation, and the member of parliament. These, along with innumerable calls to talk-show programmes, have not spurred the authorities to take action.
Last year, the residents awoke to the news that a vehicle had veered off the road and turned end over end for 30m into a gully near Woodford Square. Many of us agreed that a retaining wall could have prevented this accident. One person died.
A similar occurrence on Newcastle road will likely make national headlines for the wrong reasons. We are willing and ready to offer support to those who are responsible for fixing this problem. Let's get to it now before it's too late!