Linden once had quality roads

Dear Editor,

Well known and boisterous political personality and host of the TV programme ‘Under the Microscope’ Mr Ian Halls is never weary of telling ad nauseam which roads are the responsibility of the local authority and which of the central government.

Roads in Linden that have stood up to the satisfaction of residents can be counted on the fingers of one hand, for whatever the reason, we are just not lucky in getting good roads, or as is said now, ‘value for money.’ I’ve long been saying and still hold the view that the roads in Linden, Region 10 should have been our hallmark, for I think that with the exception of bitumen we have under our feet various types of road-building material by virtue of being located in a mining region, where a lot of stuff is gotten from the large mass of overburden during the mining exercise that has to be removed. On top of that as is well known the town of Linden once boasted the largest set of engineers ever concentrated in such a small area, comparable to anywhere else in the Caribbean, since it had a bauxite plant and an aluminium, chemical plant and a workforce of approximately 6000. Also of late the over/under burden from the Omai gold mining operations must be noted. As many older folk of the town would know there were many roads; there were streets made from tailings left from bauxite processing that maintained their sound form and good condition for years, and were never dotted with potholes like now, where roads and streets are in a constant state of disrepair. Apart from the main road, once called Arvida Road and now renamed Republic Avenue; the old Washer Pond road which is now abandoned; the new one that has now replaced it, and to some extent Burnham Drive on the Wismar shore – these were of quality and there’s hardly another to compare.

Oh! here is a piece of information for those who didn’t know: that stretch of road from Accara Drive – back road – leading to and entering the Aluminium Plant is one that exemplified quality construction from the time it was built over fifty-odd years ago for heavy duty usage, till today, when it still has not a scratch. That’s what you call a lifetime; better yet, now the plant has become obsolete – what a waste.

Now, just look at the state of our roads today; with respect to Blueberry Hill and Block 22 on the Wismar shore, just to cite two, can Mr Hall say who is responsible for their upkeep? I’ve spoken a number of times about the roads leading to Regma Primary, Avenue of the Republic, an alleyway called a road deserving of attention, but no one in authority seems to care; it has been in that same state for quite a while.

Whenever it rains, these roads are hell; they change the mood of commuters, especially the hapless schoolchildren and pedestrians, whose choice of adjectives undergoes a change, evincing more passionate and ‘cussable’ language. Look what happens at the front line, ie Republic Avenue, along the pavement between the Post Office and Wismar Street. Whenever it rains, the gutter is clogged, the pavement is flooded so it’s all messy with slush and no dry place to walk. It has been so for a long time. Then again covered drains make matters worse since no one takes the time to check what’s happening underneath.

It is unfortunate that the saying ‘little things mean a lot’ is seldom heeded. Could somebody say just why those spots between the Lichas building and Mackenzie High School that gather water every time it rains can’t be fixed? Especially the two main spots: one at the entrance in front of the gate at Lichas and the other at the entrance of the MHS gate – come on! Are we so blind or just don’t care? And finally, when for our own sake will we demand that those heavy loads of timber logs stop plying the Linden Highway and be transported by river?

Yours faithfully,
Frank Fyffe

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