No work on Deeside roadway before March
DESPITE more than $200 million being earmarked to fix the three miles of road between Wakefield and Deeside in Trelawny, residents will have to wait at least another two months for work to begin.
Last September, Minister Without Portfolio in the Ministry of Works Everald Warmington toured the area and announced that $218 million had been set aside to repair the three miles of road. But to date, nothing has been done.
Following Warmington’s announcement, Member of Parliament for Northern Trelawny Tova Hamilton, in her maiden presentation to the House of Representatives, rattled off a number of road projects that would have ended “years of nothingness”, noting that “roads are the arteries through which an economy pulses. It is vital to any development agenda”.
However, in an interview with The Gleaner on Wednesday, Stephen Shaw, communications manager of the National Works Agency, said based on procedure, no road repairs would be taking place anytime soon.
No work will begin
“Any work of that magnitude has three stages to pass through. There is a tender evaluation, public procurement commission and Cabinet approval. Until all three are completed, no work will begin,” Shaw said.
However, he expressed optimism that after the Budget is read in March, some work will begin.
In the meantime, residents have described the roadway as among the most neglected in the parish and said it has caused them to be spending excessively on car parts.
Sharnette Eccleston, a resident of Deeside, who is also a recording artiste, labelled the road as “disgraceful”.
“The road is most disgraceful. A journey that should take maximum 10 minutes is taking a half an hour. If you leave your home and forget anything, you don’t turn back. You don’t want to drive into the many deep potholes,” said Eccleston, finding it difficult to hide her frustration
Another Deeside resident, Roger Winter, a transport operator, bemoaned the negative impact that the condition of the roadway is having on his capacity to earn, as he constantly has to be spending money on replacing motor vehicle parts.
“I hardly make any money. I ply the Falmouth to Deeside route. I make fewer trips per day and there is constant damage to my front end,” related the 12-year veteran operator.
Winter, whose route takes him through Wakefield, compared his experience to that of a friend and fellow public passenger vehicle operator, who operates a different route.
“We bought the same type of vehicle on the same day. He runs the Duncans to Falmouth route,” shared Winter. “When I had gone through three sets of front-end parts, he had not changed one.”