As a $14 million remedial operation begins on the Canal Number One and Two roads, Regional Chairman Julius Faeber believes that instead of doing “patchwork” the authorities should recap the entire road.
The main road on the West Bank Demerara, which stretches about four miles long, has been in a deplorable state for several years and drivers and residents have been complaining. When Stabroek News visited on Sunday, cracks and small potholes pockmarked the first half, whilst on the second half of the road, the potholes were larger and appeared more frequently, which forced drivers to slow down in order to safely navigate the road.
Drivers warily navigate the road as if they are “playing a video game,” telling Stabroek News that the holes and cracks are so big that they would often cause blowouts leading to accidents.
When Stabroek News visited again yesterday, workers were seen cutting the holes in preparation for the remedial works. When this newspaper enquired, it was related that they were contracted by the Ministry of Public Infrastructure (MPI) to patch all of the holes on and the cracks on the entire road.
An official from the MPI confirmed that it was in fact a scheduled four-week maintenance operation on the road, which will cost $14 million, and was tendered out to SYNS General Contractors.
However, while Faeber lauded the government for finally focusing on the road, he said it would be more sensible to resurface the road then to do patchwork. “The road has been deteriorating due to the inclement weather and I had written to the Minister of Public Infrastructure on the matter about a year ago and nothing had happened,” Faeber said, explaining that he was elated to know that the road was finally getting the attention it needed.
“It would be good for the residents because at least the holes will be patched but what I was advocating was for the roads to be resurfaced. Those roads were built since 1973 and they need to be resurfaced. Every year we keep patching the holes and they continue to deteriorate fast,” he said, pointing out that if the ministry wants to remedy the situation it should consider recapping the road.
Vice Chairman of the Canals Polder Neigh-bourhood Democratic Council (NDC) Noelle Reading told Stabroek News yesterday that the council has been discussing the issue since numerous residents and drivers have been complaining.
She said a decision was made at the NDC level to put whatever funds it had towards patching parts of the road. However, this would no longer be necessary as the ministry has taken up the issue.